Not been invited on the stag do? Don’t worry, you can book onto one and still enjoy the fun.

A company based in Newcastle, Last Night of Freedom, has launched a do aimed at combating loneliness among men. Men can book on to eat, drink and party with strangers for a weekend – maybe even leaving with new-made friends.

The organisers behind it have called it ‘both a bucket list experience for men who have never been on a stag do, as well as a chance for those battling loneliness to form friendships – and potentially bring a new best man into their lives’.

Costing £349, men will go on boozy bar crawls in Newcastle with up to 11 others, bonding over activities like Squid Games and It’s a Geordie Knockout.

According to charity The Campaign to End Loneliness, an estimated 4,000,000 Brits battle feelings of loneliness on a regular basis.

Matt Mavir, managing director of Last Night of Freedom, said: ‘We have organised over 45,000 stag and hen weekends, making lifelong memories for friendship groups.

‘However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there’s a huge section of the public who have never had the chance to make those memories.

‘At their core, stag weekends are about inclusivity. They are about brotherhood, togetherness, and friendship and this is a way we can open the stag experience up to more people whilst potentially giving people’s mental health and confidence a real boost.’

What it’s like to experience loneliness

ScotRail worker Derek Monaghan previously told what it’s like to experience loneliness. For Derek, this downward spiral started in March 2020, when the nation was in the first Covid lockdown.

‘I still have bad days, but on those bad days, I talk to people now.’ (Picture: Derek Monaghan)

‘Nights were the worst times. I attempted to distract myself with tv and phone calls, but it wasn’t working. I felt so alone and very low, trying to battle with my intruding thoughts, but losing every time and growing increasingly tired in the fight.

‘I decided I didn’t want to live anymore. No one expected it. No one even knew I was struggling. But I was done fighting and one evening in June, I attempted to act on suicidal thoughts. Luckily, I had a phone call from a family member who immediately came to the house when they could tell something was wrong.

‘After staying one night in hospital, I was released back home as there wasn’t enough space in hospital for me to stay longer. I got home and went straight to the local park to attempt and shake the suicidal feelings that were still swirling around in my brain.

‘That night, my family moved back home and I contacted Samaritans for support.

‘In the days following my attempt, I started to talk more openly about my feelings and experiences with the people closest to me. I had never done that before. Never told them I felt lonely inside. ScotRail connected me to a therapist, giving me the space to openly explore how I was doing.

‘I still have bad days, but on those bad days, I talk to people now. I don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed anymore about my mental health. I know I need people in my recovery. We all do.’

Replicating the stag experience, those who sign up will be assigned roles – one being the best man, and another the groom.

They stay together for two nights at a ‘party pad’ located in Newcastle’s Bigg Market.

Even those who are already married are welcome to take part – be it at their own risk from their spouse’s perspective.

Experts have claimed that loneliness can be worse for overall health than obesity, and around 25,000,000 adults in the UK have experienced this feeling.

Matt said the aim of the weekend is to bring people together and to focus on the positive impact a stag weekend can have on wellbeing.

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