Carr Gomm fundraises to tackle social isolation and loneliness across Scotland. With such an increasing focus on these issues, it’s important to be clear exactly what we’re dealing with.

Social isolation…

…is defined as having little or no contact with other people. It usually lasts for extended periods of time. Social isolation is different from loneliness, in that loneliness is a state of emotion that is felt by individuals who are not satisfied with their social connections. Therefore, a person who is experiencing social isolation does not always experience loneliness, especially in cases where social isolation is voluntary. In addition, loneliness can be temporary, whereas social isolation can last anywhere from a few weeks to years.


…is not being alone but a subjective experience of isolation. It is inevitable that all of us will experience this feeling at one time or another, whether it’s a brief pang of being left out at a party or the painful sensation of lacking a close companion. Life changing events, such as moving to a new town or bereavement, can lead to acute loneliness.[1]  But it is the time factor that decides how harmful loneliness may be; research shows that ‘loneliness becomes an issue of serious concern only when it settles in long enough to create a persistent, self-reinforcing loop of negative thoughts, sensations and behaviours‘.[2]

Find out more about the impact of social isolation and loneliness.

Join Team Carr Gomm and help us stomp out loneliness across Scotland.

Read about our community projects and activities tackling loneliness across Scotland.

[1] The Lonely Society? The Mental Health Foundation 2010

[2] Cacioppo, J.T. and Patrick, W. (2008) Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection New York: W.W. Norton and Company, P.7.