More than discomfort with strange sights, sounds and smells … culture shock arises from not knowing the rules and nuances of everyday interaction. When you’re with people you’re similar to, a good guess can be made at how they will react to a joke, a hug, or a complaint. Thrown into an alien situation, confidence in your assumptions breaks down, leaving you unsure of how to act and talk to connect with others.

The Challenge Network exists to bring people together.  We think it matters that people in the UK trust each other less than any other country in Europe.  The irony is that lots of us have ideas for how to bring people together.  But not all of us act on them.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The town that grew together

Todmorden is a small town in West Yorkshire. It has few claims to fame. John Tettley the weatherman is from here, Cherie Blair’s dad lives here, and in 1980 a local policeman claimed to be abducted by aliens.

If you visit Todmorden today, I would wager that you won’t see John Tettley, Cherie Blair’s dad or an alien abduction.

Today’s creative way of bringing people together starts with a circle.  A circle of people who all live in one part of south London.  A circle made up mostly of older citizens looking out for each other.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Our favourite disused phonebox

Last weekend whilst walking through the small village of Thurlstone in Devon, I came across an inspiring example of how to bring people together.

Here in this village, the old iconic red phonebox has been turned into a mini library with a broad selection of books. The result? A valuable service for local people, owned by local people and bringing local people together.

The Challenge Network is the national charity for bringing local people together.  We build trust between people of different ages, incomes and ethnicities.

That’s why loneliness is a very real worry for us. For if there’s one thing worse than being in one group and distrusting another, it’s being in no group at all and distrusting everyone.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Caution: Loneliness can kill

The Challenge Network is the national charity for bringing local people together.  We build trust between people of different ages, incomes and ethnicities.

That’s why loneliness is a very real worry for us. For if there’s one thing worse than being in one group and distrusting another, it’s being in no group at all and distrusting everyone.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Why are more of us feeling lonely?

The Challenge Network is the national charity for bringing local people together.  We build trust between people of different ages, incomes and ethnicities.

That’s why loneliness is a very real worry for us. For if there’s one thing worse than being in one group and distrusting another, it’s being in no group at all and distrusting everyone.

Follow us on Twitter

Case Studies

+ Young people       + Parents
+ Teachers               + Community partners
+ Funders                 + Professional Partners

Social Media

Select: