30 days friendship image

‘An old fashioned Cowboy and a Hi-tech Astronaut’

‘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:

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30 days friendship image

30 Days of Friendship

30 days friendship imageCyril Flint Befrienders are launching a #30DaysofFriendship campaign in the run up to Christmas to help raise awareness about the value of friendship, during the festive period and all year round!

Christmas is a lovely time of year for many, who enjoy big family get together’s, lots of social events and celebrations, however this isn’t the festive season everyone gets to experience. Cyril Flint Befrienders was established after a gentleman called Cyril revealed to his carer that he was about to spend his 23rd Christmas alone since the passing of his wife. His carer raised the flag about his loneliness, an ad was placed in the paper and we were inundated with responses form people in Trafford who wanted to have Cyril over for Christmas. These people clearly appreciated how sad and lonely it would be to be alone at Christmas. The response was so great that it led to Cyril Flint Befrienders becoming a registered charity in 2012. We now befriend nearly 100 older people and are continuing to create new friendships each week.

As a charity we are continuing to work to reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people across Greater Manchester. We do this by recruiting, training and DBS checking volunteers and matching them up with a lonely or isolated older person in their local community. We pride ourselves on our in-depth matching – making sure we match people who have shared interests and hobbies to encourage long-lasting friendships and in fact some of our friendships span back to 2013, not long after we were established!

We’re launching a #30DaysofFriendship campaign, kicking off on 13th November, World Kindness Day and finishing on 12th December with our Christmas party and raffle!

13th November – launch

14th November – Cyril Flint Quiz @ The Kings Ransom, Sale

23rd – 26th November – Gift Wrapping Shop @ The Lowry Outlet*

5th December – Volunteer recruitment session

12th December – Christmas party and raffle!

We’re urging local individuals and businesses to get involved and to promote the value of friendship, especially at this potentially isolating time of year.

Ways you can get involved:

*Donate a raffle prize

*Fundraise

*Call in on that older neighbour you’ve not seen for a while

*Attend our events

*Volunteer your time

*Keep in touch with your elderly relatives and neighbours – it’s easy to get caught up in all of our plans over Christmas!

*Post about what you’re doing Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, helping to spread the word and encouraging others to get involved. Use the hashtag! #30DaysofFriendship

Contact Alex Neil for more information about how you can get involved 0161 942 9465 or email alex.neil@cyrilflint.org

Let’s spread friendship this festive season!

 

spring

Spring into Befriending

Spring is nearly upon us and with it brings a sense of optimism, renewed vitality and (hopefully!) the urge to make a difference to your local community.

We hold a number of recruitment sessions throughout Greater Manchester. Sessions are fun, informal and informative and offer a great introduction to volunteering and how being a Befriender can make a huge difference.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been to an interview before, or if it’s a while since you had one. We make sure the atmosphere is relaxed and its a more of a “get to know you” over a brew.

Oh, and don’t forget to tell us if you have any special requirements to enable you take part in the interview process, please let us know on advance and we will do all we can to accommodate you.

Our next session is confirmed for Tuesday the March the 24th in Didsbury, this will be an evening slot.

We will also have sessions coming up in Walkden and Salford – watch this space!

Perhaps you are a group of people (community group/bunch of colleagues) that would like us to come to out to you to run bespoke sessions. We can tailor this to suit you, just drop us a line to louise.smith@cyrilflint.org for more info.