Much of the data available about loneliness comes from a white British context. There is less information available about ways minority populations experience loneliness. To help fill the gap, the British Red Cross produced research into loneliness in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community (BAME) communities.[1]  Three of its main findings include:

  • Belonging to your community, that is by ‘feeling valued, included, safe and able to join in community activities’ helps people to feel less lonely. Their research showed that ‘sixty-seven per cent of all respondents who felt they did not belong in their community said they were always or often lonely, compared with just 16 per cent who felt they did belong.’
  • The report claims that additional triggers of loneliness can include : racism, discrimination and xenophobia. It reported that ‘almost half of people (49 per cent) who had experienced discrimination at work or in their local neighbourhood reported being always or often lonely, compared with just over a quarter (28 per cent) of people who hadn’t.’
  • People from BAME backgrounds also more frequently report feeling they are less able to access community activities and support.

Age UK and it’s Time to Shine programme shared some insights into some ways to support older BAME people who are, or may be at risk of being, lonely are to:

  • provide support that incorporates cultural attitudes and practices
  • enable a sense of belonging by creating a space that brings together people of similar culture, and cultural heritage
  • enable people to participate by giving consideration to barriers such as proficiency in the English language[2]

[1] Barriers to Belonging: An exploration among people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. British Red Cross 2019