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Action group launched to tackle loneliness in Sheffield suburb

The library team at Newfield Library (L-R) Pam Dickerson, Angela Mattinson, Coral Craig, Mirban Hussian, Cynthia Sutherland.
The library team at Newfield Library (L-R) Pam Dickerson, Angela Mattinson, Coral Craig, Mirban Hussian, Cynthia Sutherland.

An action group has been launched in a Sheffield suburb to help the community understand loneliness and work on ways to combat it.

The Loneliness Action Group which has launched in Gleadless Valley aims to understand the impact of loneliness on individuals and the community as a whole, and to find ways to tackle the issue. 

The group is run by TimeBuilders, a volunteer scheme that is based at St Mary’s Church and Community Centre on Bramall Lane, which is now spreading into Gleadless Valley. 

It is a short course of four sessions, which starts by allowing people to learn from each other, pooling their knowledge, discussing what loneliness means, and look at how and where it happens.

The aim is to help people understand the impact of loneliness upon individuals and the community as a whole, and to find ways to do something about it, and potentially hold sessions monthly.

James Starky, TimeBuilders Team Leader and facilitator of the group, said: “Loneliness can be a taboo subject. We encourage people to come to all four sessions so they can support each other and bond as a group, it’s motivational to be in the group. 

“We ask ‘what is the opposite of loneliness and how do we create it?’ Finally we work together and make plans for possible action, which may include starting new initiatives or joining forces with others.”

He says that Loneliness Action Group is open to anyone, whether it be adults who want to be more active in the community or those who want to learn about what is happening and what’s going on.

The group, who have already held a smell taster session, is free and will officially launch on Monday September 24 between 2-4pm at Newfield Green Library on Gleadless Road.

“Anyone can come along and get involved,” James added. “You need no experience, only the willingness to listen, learn and share experiences.

“Loneliness is a human condition and everyone is an expert in their own experiences, so they can bring that to the group and help others to build some energy and support to make things happen in the community.

“The Loneliness Action Group uses the expertise of ordinary people, whose local knowledge and experience can be the catalyst for making things happen.”

To find out more information or to book a place email James.Starky@timebuilders.org.uk or visit the Newfield Green Library and speak to the librarians.