The Voluntary Action Calderdale Column – April 2019
Friendships are one of the best things in life. The opportunity to connect and form a strong bond with someone who was once a complete stranger is incredibly valuable.
Whatever life has thrown at me – good or bad – I have always been so grateful to have my friends right there with me. From my strong circle of schoolmates to the kindred souls I’ve picked up along the way, I know they can support me through anything. They are there when I need to talk. They are there when I need to laugh. They are there when I need to cry.
Sometimes as a result of what life throws at us, people can end up feeling socially isolated and disconnected to their peers and local community. Launched in March by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ (www.ourneighbours.org.uk) is a social movement that aims to prevent loneliness throughout West Yorkshire and Harrogate by encouraging people to do simple things to help out their neighbours.
Voluntary Action Calderdale is one of the many supporters of this campaign. To show our support, we wanted to highlight how friendly and welcoming the Calderdale voluntary and community sector is.
Social isolation does not discriminate; it can impact anyone, of any age, at any time. With that in mind, this month’s column featured organisations offering a diverse look at how Calderdale is challenging isolation across different social groups. are all completely different to one another to show the diverse range of services available.
Identity LGBTQ Youth Group
Identity LGBTQ Youth Group is run by Barnardo’s Positive Identities Service, Calderdale. The group meet every week in central Halifax and provide a safe, supportive space for young people to be themselves, have fun and make new friends.
The young people who attend Identity said:
“It can be tricky at school, I’m not out to everyone, my friends at group get it and I don’t feel different.”
“I didn’t have many friends before I came to the group, but now I’ve found my people!”
“When I first joined, they arranged for a buddy for me so I didn’t feel on my own. They helped me get to know the others.”
For more information, visit www.identitylgbtgroup.com
Tuesday 2 O’Clock Club
Recently celebrating its 1st Birthday, the Tuesday 2 O’Clock Club was set up to help tackle isolation and loneliness in older people in the local area. The club (based at Stones Cricket Club, Ripponden) runs fortnightly sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of the month and gives members of the community the opportunity to meet new people whilst enjoying a varied programme of entertainment. The club has also collaborated with other similar groups in the area to form the Ryburn Wellbeing Hub and have started to run monthly trips.
Follow the Tuesday 2 O’clock Club on Facebook.
The Phoenix Shed, Halifax
The ‘Men in Sheds’ movement aims to help reduce social isolation in older men and The Phoenix Shed is no different. Catering for men over the age of 55, The Phoenix Shed can ease them back into a social group who are both friendly and doing something for the community as well.
Based up at the Threeways Centre, Ovenden, The Phoenix Shed offers the opportunity to just pop in for a brew and a natter, or spend a whole day working on a project such as wood carving or bench making.
The Phoenix Shed team love a challenge and can make and repair many things, not least of all repairing men they can also help repair men.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pennine Magpie offers a dynamic, fun and friendly learning environment, offering a wide variety of activities and opportunities for adults with learning disabilities including dance (the fabulous Magpie Movers!), arts and crafts, computing, cookery and much more.
Everything Pennine Magpie does is to meet students’ individual needs and to help them achieve their personal goals, make lifelong friendships and live a more independent and fulfilling life.
Students at Pennine Magpie said:
“I met honest and forever friends including my best friend.”
“I was lonely with no friends, now I have a boyfriend and friends I meet on weekends.”
“Magpie Movers are the best friends ever. I love to dance with my friends.”
For more information, visit www.penninemagpie.co.uk
Next month, our column will focus on the organisations improving local lives through creativity.
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