A quarter of British parents feel lonely and isolated

According to new findings published by the charity Action for Children, a quarter of British parents feel lonely and isolated from friends and other sources of support.

The research, of more than 2,000 parents, has unearthed a shocking scale of loneliness that for nearly a quarter (22%) of people has become worse since becoming a parent. The importance of having a support network to rely on was also highlighted by parents the charity spoke to, with more than half (57%) saying it is particularly important to have friends who are also parents.

Managing director of operations at Action for Children, Jan Leightley, said: “It’s troubling to see that so many parents feel isolated.

“Having a network that you can call on is vital, to help celebrate your child’s achievements and share those funny moments or the tougher times, which all parents face.”

A parent from Worcestershire who participated in the survey, told Action for Children that she suffered with post-natal depression. She said: “Being a parent is a massive responsibility, but unlike other responsibilities you aren’t taught how to do it. People kept telling me that instinct would soon kick in but it took about three months for me to get to know my baby.”

Action for Children provide over 200 centres across the UK for parents and children and offer a broad range of advice, support and parenting sessions. Ms Leightley continued: “Local services like our children’s centres can offer a real lifeline to parents who feel isolated, they are somewhere to meet and make friends. Staff there won’t judge if you drop in looking for support, and you can take part in activities like play sessions or parenting classes.” 

The survey found that more than a third of parents aged 18 to 34 regularly feel cut off from their friends and services. Similarly, the survey revealed that a third of parents with three or more children feel more isolated from friends and services than the quarter of parents who have two children and a fifth who only have one child.

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