More and more people are seeking friendship and support on the internet. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, you can be sure there are others somewhere in the world who will share them.
Forums for the young at heart
The Silver Surfers forums provide people over 50 with the chance to chat about anything and everything.
Gransnet is an online support network for older people (non-grandparents and grandads included). Discussion topics are diverse and include books, television, gardening, travel, volunteering and politics.
Buzz50 is free social networking site for the over 50s worldwide. Forums include serious and light-hearted topics and current affairs.
National charity forums
More national charities are now recognising the benefits of bringing people together to talk about similar experiences and some have set up popular online discussion boards:
Alzheimer’s Talking Point is a safe place to ask questions, share experiences and receive advice and support.
Versus Arthritis has an online community which connects those with experiences of living with, or caring for, someone with arthritis.
The National Autistic Society has an online community for people with autism and their families.
Bipolar UK has a supportive web-based discussion forum. Available 24 hours a day.
The RNIB brings blind and visually impaired people together on its Facebook and befriending groups, including online groups.
Carers UK - join in with the conversation and discuss practical and emotional issues with other carers.
Epilepsy Action has an active online community of people with epilepsy and their carers at Health Unlocked.
Learning Disabilities and Autism SCOPE has a very supportive online forum where users can also get advice from health, employment and housing professionals.
Parkinson's UK encourages people with the disease and their families and carers to support one another in their forum community.
Physical Disabilities SCOPE’s forum supports those with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
Mental Health charity SANE has a free support forum for over 18s.
The Mental Health Forum aims to be ‘the friendliest place on the planet to discuss mental health issues'. Members support one another through tough times, but also talk about all sort of other things too.
My Stroke Guide Forum enables those affected by stroke to share information and experiences and get involved in activities and events.
MIND’s supportive online community Side by Side is for anyone who is struggling with their mental health and would like to connect with others.