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Connecting Durham: Friends and Friendship Projects 

Since April 2021, we have investigated how people stay connected to others within their communities in County Durham. We heard of the challenges faced by individuals, as well as attitudes and visions for friendship-based services.

Many voiced concerns for their local neighbourhoods, sharing with us the improvements they believed would bring change to their communities. In particular, we explored the experiences of those who have felt lonely or isolated. These voices have shaped the next phase, phase II of the project. 

To further understand how social networks can be better supported, we have now launched phase II of this project. This is comprised in two elements:

  • Your Young Opinions - an online survey asking to understand social isolation in young people aged 18-25. 

  • Time Together projects - testing befriending models and friendship-based services in our local rural and market town regions.

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Your Young Opinions: The Friendship & Community Survey

Are you aged 18-25? 

Do you work with people in this age range?

Is it true that “younger adults are lonelier than ever before?”


We want to understand more about the issues that matter most to adults 18-25 around feeling connected, having friends, and dealing with issues like loneliness and isolation.  


If you are in this age category, or if you know a younger adult who may be facing loneliness, isolation or struggles to connect to the community around them please get in touch 

Fill out the survey and be in with the chance to win a £15 Amazon voucher!

Time Together Projects

In partnership with two organisations across County Durham, we will be developing and evaluating friendship-based services. We are working with:

  • East Durham Trust (EDT), a charity based in Peterlee, East Durham

  • Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS), based in Middleton-on-Teesdale, Barnard Castle.

These partner organisations will be delivering services to isolated, housebound individuals (for UTASS, users will also be elderly) to help them access their community and services. The PCP Research Team will then seek to interview users and volunteers to establish how effective the services are in our region.

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