A Thought Piece by David Camps 4 August 2017

According to recent statistics, 97% of UK adults said they have at least one close friend.

Well that provoked a different type of emotion to what was intended as I scrolled down my Twitter feed, as my thoughts lie with the 3%. Whilst it is lovely to think of those 97% who identify themselves as having a ‘close friend’, why do 3% of the adult population (around 1.3 million people) not have a close friend?

Summer is always a busy time of year for teachers throughout the country. I don’t have a teacher friend who doesn’t recognise summer as the time when we all catch up on the things we don’t normally get the chance to do, and ultimately see those friends who we don’t always get the chance to normally see; not intentionally, just because weekends tend to amount to a struggle to make it past the bedroom door out of sheer exhaustion!

I’ve never classed myself as the 3%, but that makes me question further; what does that 3% do when they hit that crisis point?

I think it’s universally recognised that friendships are a means of support, trust, loyalty and above all else love – albeit a different kind of love to that of a partner or family member. Throughout my lifetime I have sought my friends as the source of care, humility and an unjudged level of support.

Fortunately, I can only imagine what it would be like to not have that – not to have a ‘close friend’. Who would you turn to?

If there is one thing that I will take from that statistic it will be to question, in my daily life, whether I have just come into contact with one of those 3%, and if so, have I done something to make my encounter with them resemble something, in the slightest possible way, to that of what my ‘close friends’ resemble.

If I can satisfy that, I feel I may have done something to help the 3% who will one day need that ‘close friend’.

David Camps
Key Stage 1 Lead
Mansfield Green E-ACT Academy