Great Winter Get Together 2022

From 17th-30th January, the Jo Cox Foundation wants to spread the word that there is #NoShameInSharing and to get the conversation started around loneliness.

Photo of Jo Cox MP

This campaign is inspired by Jo Cox, who experienced loneliness while she was at university and when she became a mother to her two children. When she became an MP, she was determined that others should not have to go through similar feelings alone, and said:  

“I will not live in a country where thousands of people are living lonely lives, forgotten by the rest of us.” 

The team at the Jo Cox Foundation want to continue the work she started, and hope to make January a time for connection – bringing people together and reducing the stigma around loneliness. 

The Great Get Together

Visit the Great Get Together website today for a toolkit which has a handy scale so you can discover what easy action you can take that suits your current confidence level.

All the Small Things want to share information about projects and activities going on in our area that connect people (face to face or virtual), as part of the Great Winter Get Together campaign.

photo of a man smiling and waving hello

Paul is an active neighbour, a real community connector in Stoke on Trent.

“When I see people as I’m going out and about, I say hello and have a chat.
If people are not having as many social contacts as they would like, I’ve started telling them about a coffee morning at a local community centre I go to. I encourage them to meet new people. It worked for me”.

Paul wants to encourage everyone to say hello, or just smile. It can make a big difference to how lonely other people feel.

yellow poster saying "Reach out"

“Beside you” support cafe.
We want to open a mental health café in Audley parish, this will be for those not only suffering from mental health but those that are supporting and caring for somebody who has mental health issues. Our aim is to have a place where people can meet up and know they have someone to talk to who can relate in some way in regards to mental health. At our cafe we aim to have a therapy room, go on day trips, creative writing, board games area etc We are looking for volunteers for the group or any professionals or ex professionals that wouldn’t mind give up some of their time to help us in this much needed program within our parish. Please contact Jeanette Harris on 07940 127805

CAFAG poster - start your day with coffee and a smile, Coffee cup.

CAFAG and Befriending Service Coffee Morning.
You are invited to the next coffee morning at the Whitfield Valley Centre in Fegg Hayes on Wednesday 2nd February 2022. It starts at 10:30am and is a chance to find out about our Befriending Service and what other activities and services  CAFAG has to offers.

Carelink
Carelink is part of Saltbox based in Hanley. We strive to improve people’s lives by tackling loneliness and isolation and helping people to live healthier for longer. Our service is open to anyone over the age of 65 who lives in Stoke-on-Trent or North Staffs. We provide a free Telephone befriending service and run social activity groups at Redemption Hub Stoke on Tuesday Mornings 10am – 12pm. Plus Hanley Indoor Market and Swan Bank Cafe on Thursday mornings 10am – 12pm. alongside a weekly exercise group (KOKU) and a monthly Digital Inclusion group (Connect Club). Contact: 01782 810320 or e: carelink@saltbox.org.uk

CCMA community centre in Cobridge.
Education, training, exercise group, art group, children’s group, fundraising, domino’s, lunch club, and soup club. Rooms available for meetings, weddings, christenings, funerals, birthday or anniversary parties. 07470 459376

group of older people sitting round tables chatting and smiling

MHA Communities North Staffs has a mission to reduce isolation and loneliness in the over 55’s.
We have a range of groups in the North Staffordshire area, including lunch groups, social groups, exercise, arts and crafts and a History and Reminiscence group. In addition we run a befriending service. We can also organise transport to our groups, at a small cost. We are keen to hear from anybody who would like to join our community as either a member or as a volunteer, in a number of different roles. You are sure of a warm welcome!
Contact Sharon Morley, 07568 612 037, Sharon.Morley@mha.org.uk

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce – Positive Pathways
Supports refugees living in Stoke on Trent or Staffordshire, to develop confidence, skills, job search and help to set up a business with a grant available.
To find out more: phone 01782 202222 email  julie.priestnall@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

The Care and Fun Club Blythe Centre offer enhanced library services, groups and activities to keep people connected within their community. careandfun@live.co.uk

VAST logo white with grey writing

VAST Volunteer Brokerage: Connecting volunteers to opportunities across the city. We work with Community partners to share their opportunities. What makes Vast volunteer brokerage stand out is its unique way of taking time to get to know the volunteers and well as service providers so that we make bespoke matches of volunteers to opportunities. Volunteering is a good way for those who can, to find something meaningful to do and reduce their own loneliness and isolation. Community Health Champions: Working with volunteers in the community to connect better with their local community and share health and well being messages including how to look after one’s mental health in order to maintain or improve quality of life. Again in this project, our Champions use their knowledge of the community to provide bespoke support be it through signposting or referral and sometimes handholding into services that may support to reduce loneliness and isolation as well as other associated health concerns.

Westport Lake Community Group
We have hung words of kindness around the estate at Westport Lake to hopefully some of the winter blues residents might be feeling. Katy x wplcommunity@outlook.com

Take action with the Great Winter Get Together

Please pass on this information to people you know to highlight the Great Winter Get Together campaign and help reduce the stigma of loneliness.

Follow the Great Winter Get Together on social media: facebook https://www.facebook.com/greatgettogether 
twitter www.twitter.com/great_together  
instagram https://www.instagram.com/greatgettogether/

You are welcome to join the Loneliness Strategic Partnership in North Staffs.
If you are a volunteer or paid worker organising activities that connect people to tackle loneliness, please email allthesmallthings AT gmail.com or phone Lynne on 0751 881 3131 for more information.

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