Millions of people would like to go to the pub more often – but don’t have anyone to go with, according to a study.
The research by pub chain Greene King lays bare the scale of loneliness in modern Britain, with one in five regularly feeling lonely on Friday night when they would love a trip to their local.
Nearly two thirds admit they sometimes feel lonely, with 39 per cent wishing someone would ask them to join them for a night out.
It emerged almost half of Brits (48 per cent) believe it is harder to find people to spend time with as you grow older.
One in three blame this on being too tired to make the effort while 39 per cent are never able to get all their friends’ schedules to line up.
A further 30 per cent feel that they have too much work to make the time to spend with peers.
The study was commissioned by Greene King to launch its ‘No One Alone’ initiative which will help tackle loneliness in local communities.
CEO Nick Mackenzie said: “Our research shows that loneliness can impact not just one age, gender or life circumstance, but a wide range of people all over the UK.
“And it’s surprising to see just how many adults wished they could spend more time socialising and interacting with peers.”
The study also found the average Brit stops having people to visit the pub with regularly at the age of just 32.
Four in 10 Brits don’t spend any time at all in the pub socialising – but would like to spend an average of three-and-a-half hours a week doing so.
Fifteen per cent even admit they’d be happy to buy someone’s drinks in the pub all night, just to have some company.
It also emerged the best thing about going for a pint with a friend is to hear any news they may have, according to 40 per cent of Brits.
And a quarter enjoy the opportunity to share any problems they may have, in hope of finding a solution, according to the OnePoll research.
One in 10 enjoy the chance to have a moan about their other half, and 20 per cent relish being able to help a friend out if they’re having problems of their own.
Around a fifth would even be comfortable going to the pub alone in order to make new friends.
Despite not visiting as much as they’d like, a quarter of the population believe their local pub is the centrepiece of their community.
Nick Mackenzie added: “Our pubs are in the heart of communities across the country and can therefore play a vital role in helping to tackle social isolation, becoming a hub for anyone struggling with loneliness or belonging.
“Many of them already host events and work with community groups to bring people together in the pub and our new No One Alone initiative will provide more opportunities for individuals to come to our pubs to connect with others, build relationships and gain a sense of inclusion within their communities.
“We hope that this will help tackle the problem of loneliness.”
Greene King has partnered with MeetUpMondays, an initiative created to help address loneliness and isolation, to deliver free, weekly get-togethers at its pubs – including a community table on Christmas Day.
Ann Osborne, CEO of MeetUpMondays, said: “We’re excited to be starting what we hope will be a long-term partnership with Greene King and its network of pubs, which are often the heart of a local community.
“We can’t wait to see Greene King pubs start to offer £MeetupMondays throughout the UK, creating warm, welcoming spaces for local residents who feel a bit lonely to meet and make new friends.”
THE TOP 10 BEST THINGS ABOUT GOING TO THE PUB WITH A FRIEND
1. You get to hear their news
2. You can catch up with someone you don’t see very often
3. You can share any news of your own
4. You can discuss any problems you may have
5. Having a bite to eat at the same time
6. You can have a good moan
7. You can help a friend with a problem
8. You can look forward to it all day
9. The excitement that one pint might turn into a big night out
10. Playing pool, darts or a quiz machine