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How do you make friends?

Posted June 7th 2018 by Alice

Loneliness is a huge problem around the UK, as has been shown recently by the first Minister for Loneliness being appointed to try to tackle the problem. The problem of loneliness is a strange one; the effects have been cited as being more severe than those experienced by smokers but the ways to treat loneliness are relatively straightforward and simple. We know from our previous projects like Angus McFlourish that simply by getting together and making friends people’s sense of wellbeing can increase dramatically and their sense of loneliness can diminish.

“If it wasn’t for the Friends Group I’d never have met my friend.”

In our Friends Group we are working with people in Falkirk who have learning difficulties and want to make friends. We know that when you have learning difficulties it can be difficult to get out, try new things and make friends. If you also experience issues with your mental health, like anxiety, this can be even more difficult.

“After the Friends Group I could see someone was worried about something so we spoke about it for an hour. It was good because we both know what it’s like to deal with anxiety.”

It has been brilliant to see the confidence grow in the people who attend our Friends Group. New friendships have been formed with members talking about problems they are experiencing and getting support, as well as having a lot of laughs. Members from the group have also been able to try new activities that they have been wanting to try, like line dancing and karaoke.

“I’ve been wanting to visit Hopetoun House for two years now but I haven’t been able to get here on my own. I’m finally here! It’s great!”

If you have learning difficulties and live in Falkirk, or the surrounding area, then why not come along to our Friends Group? We meet weekly on Fridays from 11 am until 1 pm. All our sessions are free and you can bring along a carer or a friend if you would like to. For more information contact Ania by emailing ania@otbds.org or by calling 07514 905 945 or you can take a look at our Facebook page.

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