Our Harlow United in Kind Coach Sarah would like to share her experience of isolation and loneliness

“My journey began four years ago when I became ill. I woke up one day and found my life had changed. I struggled to go to work and this became harder and harder as time went by until I eventually took redundancy. At first this was a relief but then quickly I found I’d lost my confidence. Gradually I stopped meeting friends and had become isolated and at times felt very lonely. After a while I reached out to an organisation called Employ-ability who were able to support me with attending courses to help me build my confidence. While attending these courses I began socialising again. I made new friends who I’m still in contact with today. With help and guidance from my employment specialist I started to look for work. It was during one of these appointments that I came across a job which wanted to help connect communities through kindness and help to reduce social isolation and loneliness. I decided to apply and was successful. Through the support of my family, friends and colleagues I have been able to support my own well-being and it has been a life changing experience. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity, support and the belief of my colleagues.

It was through the kindness and support of others that I was able to build new social connections and continue to grow as a person.

Isolation and loneliness can affect anybody and at any time during your life. I would like to encourage anybody who is feeling isolated or lonely to know that it is okay to reach out and ask for help. Together we can make a difference. One small act of kindness can have a very big impact.”