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Basingstoke’s fight against loneliness

         “The most terrible poverty is loneliness”
                            ― Mother Teresa


Loneliness can have many causes. Unexpected situations and circumstances can contribute to becoming isolated or even feeling alone in a room full of people you can’t relate to. Loneliness is a serious issue in our modern age and is widespread. It can affect everyone at some point throughout their lives and potentially cause significant mental and physical health issues as a result.

Please know you don’t have to be alone. There are so many amazing, friendly groups for all ages in Basingstoke and Deane, full of people seeking friendships and connection. If you are wanting to meet new people, passionate about a hobby or want to start one, have a change of scenery or just to sit in the company of others, please check out the huge range of groups and societies in the area. With such a multitude of activities and social events on offer, you will be sure to find something suited to you. If mobility and transport are an issue, there are organisations in the borough who will assist. However, daunting it may feel to put yourself ‘out there’ and with potential feelings of vulnerability, others have felt or are feeling the same right now so don’t let fear hold you back from opportunity. There is so much on offer in Basingstoke this year and it may be the start of a new life changing path in 2024. Please take a peek at the groups and societies mentioned below and click on the links for more information or contact them directly.  

Town centre

The Basingstoke Discovery Centre has community at its heart, offering a range of groups centred around connection in a friendly environment. There are many relaxed groups centring on activities such as arts, board games, reading clubs, genealogy and support to cope with bereavement. Outside Festival Place, St Mary's Church offers many groups and opportunities to meet others. In the town centre, there is the Basingstoke Chess Club for adults and juniors which is open to beginners. Additionally, The Proteus Theatre Company organisation has ways to get involved such as joining the popular youth or adult theatre group and experiencing one of the many branches of theatre production. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to help with performances and community events.

Art Class at Proteus Creation Space.


Buckskin has the fantastic resource of the Ridgeway Community Centre, with a range of free and low cost activities on offer. For children wanting to make new friends, there is a weekly street dance class for only £1 and the Shotokan Karate Club. Very little ones can get involved in the weekly parent and toddler group Jiggly Wrigglers. Or if you love being active while having fun, try out a class in ballroom dancing, country dancing or fitness for all sessions. The centre’s weekly bingo night and regular coffee mornings are a great chance to meet people locally or just to be in the company of others.

Hatch Warren and Beggarwood

The Hatch Warren Community Centre is a hub of opportunity for those wanting to try out a new activity and meet local people. There are many groups running throughout the year, catering to a wide range of interests. For parents there is Jiggy Wriggler, Jiggy mixed and Little Angels parent and toddler group, where there is no need to book and you can just turn up. These sessions are a great way to meet other parents. For an exciting way to burn off energy, why not try out a Zumba or Clubercise class, which are so much fun you won’t realise you're exercising! For under 18s there is the The Warren, which runs many activities such as sports, crafts and technology. Nearby, Beggarwood Community Centre has a number of activities for primary age children such as regular cooking sessions. Let’s Move senior offers low impact exercise, a fantastic way to keep fit with others and a monthly community lunch gives many the chance to socialise while enjoying a cooked meal. Furthermore, the Hatch Warren and Beggarwood cycling club is a friend local community where all cycling abilities are welcome.


Popley has the Bermuda Hall Community Centre, hosting a range of activities such as yoga, martial arts and regular bingo nights with cash prizes. There is also the nearby Melrose Community Association,  with many groups such as Popley Little People providing toys and refreshments. There is also the weekly café every Thursday, simply go along and enjoy a hot drink and snack in the company of others.

Oakley, Overton and Whitchurch

Oakley has a thriving community with many friendly groups and societies to join. St Leonards Church caters to a range of ages with activities such as baby group Cheeky Pandas, flower arranging, table-top gardening and sitting and standing to keep fit. The village has array of sports clubs involving tennis, cycling and rambling. There are clubs that have a strong focus on companionship such as Men’s Shed for men and Oakley Ladies and the WI for women. Other groups include gardening, craft, coffee and chat and photography. For more information, please check out the Oakley & Deane Parish Council website.                                                   

The scenic village of Overton offers a range of welcoming clubs and societies, perfect for making new acquaintances locally.The Overton Dramatic Society and Choral Society are a great way to make friends and enjoy performing to local audiences, a win for all! Groups such as the wine club, art club, heritage society, photographic club, U3A and Women’s Institute all offer a welcoming environment and will embrace new members with open arms!            

Whitchurch is fantastic for its ability to offer so many community groups, with sporting options from bowls, cricket, sea angling and squash to rambling and tennis. Alongside many crafty clubs to experience such as sip and stitch and silver threads club, there is The Kingfisher Day Centre. The Kingfisher Trust's main aims are companionship, care and activities for the elderly and respite for carers in Whitchurch, Oakley and Overton. It is a great support to many and their converted minibus helps transport many people to the centre, who may have difficulties in travelling. For parents wanting to make those important connections in a supportive environment, there is Jolly Babies and Noah’s Ark. There is the community theatre to support or become involved with and singing for fun.

Old Basing

The beautiful parish of Old Basing has a range of social and sporting groups on offer to those of all ages. Groups such as the Old Basing U3A predominantly aimed at those who have retired or never worked. U3A offers so many recreational and social activities, alongside trips and study groups and are always looking for fresh faces so any new members will be welcomed fondly. For women only, the Women’s Institute is a friendly and inclusive group which run a range of activities including a walking group, trips to theatre productions and a weekly coffee morning.  For those who are looking for something active, there are clubs involving cricket, archery and bowling. There is also a Morris dancing club open to all! For creatives, why not try out The Basing Art Group or the Old Basing Camera Club. Conversely, if you have an interest in history, try out The Old Basing History Group and for music lovers the Old Basing Singers will be a hit. Some great ways to socialise and meet others, are by joining The Old Basing Ivy or the Old Basing Royal British Legion. Please take a look at the Old Basing and Lychpit Parish website for more details.  

Rural areas group and societies

In the smaller villages of Basingstoke and Deane there are certainly opportunities to socialise, whilst having a great time. In Kingsclere, there is the Kingsclere Village Club which hosts meetings including Coffee and Craft, a gardening association and the Women’s Institute. There is also the Kingsclere Singers, who regularly perform at several different venues. For beautiful Hannington, there is a monthly Book Club, a weekly mothers and toddlers group at the Village Hall and an unofficial golf society. In the quaint village of Dummer the Village Hall offers a gentle yoga class suitable for beginners, line dancing for all ages and ballet, all great ways of exercising while having fun. Why not try out the Valley Choir in Candover, or the Horticultural Society and regular coffee mornings in Cliddesden. In St Mary Bourne there is a selection of groups catering to a range of ages, such as Badminton, Jiggy Wrigglers, Short Mat Bowls and an exercise group for older adults. Sherfield Park has the brilliant resource of the Sherfield Park Community Association, which holds groups such as the Coffee Lounge, Hearing Dogs and over 55s group. Locals can also become involved in a range of fun classes such as Tots Play, Adult Ballroom and Latin, Pure Pilates, Theatre4kids, Boxercise and Zumba.


The U3A is an organisation catering predominantly for those who are no longer in employment, with a strong focus on learning, friendships and connection. They offer a range of over forty groups such as language classes, country music, aviation, scrabble and ten in bowling. All the classes can be found on their website. More groups, clubs and organisations specifically for older people are plenty in Tadley, such as the Age Concern lunch club, civil service retirement fellowship, Neighbour care and the Royal British Legion. Other local groups include, the Hurst singers, Ferret club, Judo, Scottish dancing and photography club. Additionally, Tadley has a large number of groups, open to all. For parent and child, there are groups such as Baby Rhyme, story time, fun construction, family boardgames and craft sessions. Other adult friendly groups include Knit and Natter, reading group and scrabble.

Cultural and faith groups

Basingstoke is a brilliantly diverse and multicultural town with many different communities and societies open to join. Many of these groups provide activities and services culturally specific to the community they represent. Some of these include the Basingstoke Caribbean Society, Basingstoke Nepalese Community and Basingstoke Albirr Mosque. For a full list of community organisations please take a look at the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council website.

Accesibility and Transport

If mobility and transport are an issue, there are organisations in the borough who will help assist you, such as Basingstoke Connect (previously Dial-a-Ride), Basingstoke Shopmobility. See the Basingstoke and Deane Access for everyone page for more information.

The Basingstoke and District Disability Forum provides a signposting service which is a free information service supporting anyone affected by disability. The signpost service covers a wide range of topics related to disability including transport, benefits and education activities.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has partnered with AccessAble who provide accessibility guides for over 200 venues in the borough.

Above all, please know that you don’t have to struggle in silence. Take the plunge this year, however daunting and you never know it might just change your life! Remember if you or anyone you love is struggling and in need of a safe place to talk, don’t hesitate to call the Samaritans  free helpline open 24/7: 116 123. If you are of an older demographic, The Silver Line Helpline, is a free confidential phone service specifically to tackle loneliness, open 24/7 every day of the year: 0800 470 80 90.

 January 2024

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