‘An old fashioned Cowboy and a Hi-tech Astronaut’
‘A bunch of misfits on a hunt for treasure, fighting a family of gangsters on an underground pirate ship’
‘ A group of 20-somethings regularly meeting in a coffee shop to discuss the ups and downs of their lives’
From Toy Story, to The Goonies, to a show literally titled ‘Friends’, the importance of friendship is a common theme in popular culture. The importance of having an individual, or a group of people who support you through the bad times, celebrate the good times and generally know you inside out. Friendship really is one of life’s great blessings, but what happens when the friendship’s fade?, when your friends have gone or its now too difficult for you to leave your own home and get out there?
This is the reality that many of today’s older generation are facing, with loneliness now being ranked as more harmful than obesity, to the wellbeing of our nation.
This November, Cyril Flint are on a mission to change all that, with their #30daysoffriendship campaign. Throughout the month there will be the opportunity to get involved in lots of different fundraising activities – all with the aim of raising much needed funds for the charity and increasing awareness of the difference it can make just having a friend.
In recent studies is has been found that those who had a close group of friends, and were actively engaged in social activities, were likely to live longer and be healthier overall. Because let’s face it, regardless of your age friendships make you feel happier, increase your sense of belonging, keep your mind alert and active as well as reducing stress levels – all of which greatly contribute to an improvement in physical and mental wellbeing.
Living with loneliness can be extremely painful and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s mood and their mental health. Many elderly people with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s can find that their symptoms are accelerated by the lack of social interaction and stimulation in their day to day lives.
Cyril Flint Befrienders, aim to combat loneliness and social isolation in elderly people in Greater Manchester through friendship; they match lonely older people up with a volunteer befriender who visits them for an hour a week. Although an hour may not seem much, older people who access the service tell us that having a befriender makes a huge difference to their mood; don’t believe me? – just look at the testimonials! Friendships and human contact matter, and can make a real genuine impact on the life of a lonely or isolated person.
So what are you waiting for? – get out there and get involved, it can be as simple as going round for a brew and a biscuit, or putting some loose change into a donation box, but believe me it really does make a difference.
For more information about the #30daysoffriendship campaign or the work that Cyril Flint do, explore our website further or follow us on social media: Twitter: @CyrilFlintBefriender and Facebook: CyrilFlintBefrienders
Special thanks to Anna Morrissey from Block 8 for her guest blog. Block 8 offers digital consultancy and designs bespoke business systems for your company. Click on their logo to visit their website: