The aim of Loneliness Awareness Week 2022 is to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness and how talking about it can help break the stigma. Here Together Co Volunteer Leila’s passion to break the stigma attached to loneliness has seen her become one of Together Co’s biggest advocates.
Leila has experienced the service from both sides and after years of being matched with her own befriending volunteers, Leila, 49, decided becoming a volunteer herself would be her way of giving back.
She said: “I felt so good and positive having a befriender that I thought I could do the same and make people happy.
“It made such a difference to me being part of the Together Co team. I felt like I wasn’t taking all the time and giving back as part of a community.
“Something as simple as a 10-minute phone call a week makes a difference to a person’s life.
“I have had three befrienders and they have all been amazing. It’s a massive thing for someone to be in my life because they want to see me and are giving up their own time to see me.
“I felt ashamed of being lonely, I felt unlikeable, that no one wanted to spend time with me, and that I wasn’t worthy of having friends.
“For some people, that 10 or 20-minute phone call, or a trip to the shops, is the only human connection they might have.
“It can’t be right for them to feel so isolated in a city full of people. There shouldn’t be so much sorrow and despair.
“Together Co signposts you to other organisations who can help as well as offering befriending and other services. They pointed me in the direction of The Women’s Centre who gave me lots of help and advice.
“I cannot praise Together Co enough. They have given me a purpose and inspired me to help other people to feel less lonely.”
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© 2019 Together Collective a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales: Company No. 03895574, whose registered office is Projects The Lanes, Nile House, Nile St, Brighton BN1 1HW. Together Collective is a registered charity: Charity No. 1083390