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Nearly 50% of British Columbians feel lonely sometimes: United Way

Giving back helps, United Way survey suggests

Nearly half of British Columbians feel lonely, a new survey from the United Way suggests.

The Research Co. poll found that 46 per cent of respondents sometimes feel lonely, while 38 per cent feel isolated from others. A further 41 per cent said they felt they didn’t have anyone to talk to in their own neighbourhood.

Northern B.C. and the Fraser Valley had the highest proportion of people who spoke to their neighbours at least five times a week, while Vancouverites had the highest percentage of people who felt connected to their city.

Residents of southern B.C. and Vancouver were the most likely to report feeling isolated, while other urban dwellers were the least likely.

The survey found that giving back helped. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said they felt like they were “a part of something meaningful” when they gave to charity, while 25 per cent said they felt proud, 24 per cent said they felt inspired and 22 per cent said they felt they were making a difference.

People who volunteered alone reported mostly feeling proud, but did not say they felt that same sense of connection.

Survey results come from 800 people who took part online in mid-September.

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