Harlow’s United in Kind coach Sarah has been talking to a local café about Isolation and loneliness in the community. The staff who work there are very aware of regular customers who come along to have a cup of tea and a chat. They understand the importance of social inclusion, and to try to speak with every customer who comes through there doors. If they see someone on their own, they will engage conversation with them.
It was during a visit to the café that I heard about a man who had been going to the café after finding himself isolated and feeling lonely. The café quickly got to know him and found time to chat with him even when they were busy. As I had spoken to them about the United in Kind project, they asked if I may be able to help them. I left some information packs containing leaflets for different social activities currently running in Harlow.
During my meeting in the café, the gentleman came in for his daily visit and the manager told him I was there. He agreed that he would like to speak with me and once my meeting was finished, I went over and spoke to him. He did indeed want some help to find social connections and find volunteering options in Harlow.
When speaking with the gentleman, he informed me that while he was at the café, he had met other people in the same position as himself. They quickly got to know each other, and made friends and now regularly meet up in the café for a chat. It was amazing that the fantastic café was able to help and support people who are lonely and isolated come together to create an amazing friendship. What an amazing café!
We all have the power to effect change and any small act of kindness can make a difference. Anything from a smile to a hello or to stop and chat can really support someone who is feeling lonely.
#Let us help reduce social isolation and loneliness together!