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International Day of Friendship

Cartoon hands holding hearts against a blue and yellow background

International Day of Friendship is on Friday 30 July, and it’s a special day to mark the importance of friendships and bridge the gaps between factors such as race, language and culture. It’s a time to appreciate and promote friendships between people, countries, cultures and communities.

Now more than ever is a time for us to appreciate the friendships we have around us, and to be grateful for the support they provide.

The annual event has seen an increase in celebrations due to social media, and this year Bracknell Forest Council would like you to help them celebrate by tagging a friend or work colleague on our social media post, send them a friendly message, a virtual hug or even share a fond memory or a selfie. Share your stories of friendship and let us know how you’ve supported friends during these unprecedented times by emailing: equality@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Other ways you might want to celebrate could include:

  • calling a friend for a chat
  • reach out to someone who you’ve not spoken to in a while
  • think about what unites people instead of what separates us

There are so many places you might have met your friends: school, work, sport clubs, though family, through other friends, virtually, the list is endless, but however you met, there is a special connection between you. Friends are there for us in the good and bad times and share empathy, compassion and concern for one another. They play an important role in both our physical and mental health at all stages in life.

The voluntary sector has paid a huge part in befriending, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, including The Ark, Involve and Age UK, who run a buddy scheme where you can become a buddy with someone who is lonely, isolated or doesn’t have any family or friends to offer a regular chat and catch up.

The first World Friendship Day was in 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade, an international civil organisation that campaigns to foster a culture of peace through friendship. Many years later, in 2011, 30 July was declared as the International Day of Friendship.

Friendship and connections build common bonds which go beyond sharing a trait, characteristic, or favourite pastime. It includes promoting a global commitment and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Even in our differences, we can find common ground. Physical appearances, differences of opinions, political views, tastes, music, and more are not reasons to separate people. Relationships are bigger than that, and International Friendship Day helps to promote kindness and togetherness every July.