Virtual friends can become real friends

Virtual friends can become real friends

Yooblr is a new website that that enables people to make friends and form small social groups with others who share their interests.

Its creator, Kyrsty Fairchild, believes this new social network, which aims to solve one of the nation’s biggest social issues, could one day rival Facebook or Twitter.

Loneliness and isolation has become a huge problem nationally as so many of us live alone due to divorce, bereavement and families moving away.

Krysty Fairchild YooblrKyrsty believes that we need new ways of creating real -life social networks replacing the roles that neighbours and local communities once played.

In a speech last year, Health Secretary Mr Hunt highlighted the “problem of loneliness that in our busy lives we have utterly failed to confront as a society”.

He said it is a source of “national shame” that as many as 800,000 people in England are “chronically lonely”.

Yooblr differs from other social networks in that, rather than just nurturing online relationships, it encourages people to get out and meet others face-to-face.

Users can find people with common interests who live nearby and then invite them to events taking place locally. As a result, people across Dorset and Hampshire are forming friendships, reviving their lives and enjoying a variety of new experiences.

Yooblr is completely free and was launched on 28th March in Hamworthy Library in Poole, Dorset.  It is completely free and described by its creators as a socialisation tool for real-life that can help beat the UK’s widespread loneliness problem.

There are 5 million people over 45 who live alone in UK many of them in social isolation.

Sue Wills, Library Service Manager, Borough of Poole says: “We’re delighted to be part of the launch. Our libraries are seen as safe and inclusive spaces that welcome everyone. With our Computer Buddies programme we help people who aren’t so computer savvy to get online. They now have another reason to use the Internet – to increase their social circles and enjoy new experiences.”

“Britain is collectively suffering from this unseen problem and we want to remove the stigma of being lonely. It’s far easier talking to someone you don’t know if you share common ground with them. By looking at other people’s profiles on Yooblr, users can decide if they share enough interests with someone before making contact.”, commented Kyrsty.

This is a much needed tool to help combat loneliness and hopefully will encourage older people to make contact and embrace the opportunities form new friendships.