A project aiming to break down the barriers around ‘social connectedness’ has launched an initiative encouraging people to share what they have done to feel less lonely and isolated.
Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Feeling Connected project has launched ‘Feeling Connected Week’, taking place between 25 September and 2 October.
The aim of the initiative is to inspire people to talk about what they have done to make themselves or others feel more connected, as well as encouraging people to come together and reconnect as group, whether it be with colleagues, friends or a social or special interest group.
The week also aims to encourage those who are struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation to get in touch for support.
Debbie Fennell, Social Connectedness Development Worker at DVA, said: “This has been such a difficult and lonely year for so many people. As restrictions lift we want to encourage people to get together more and help to reduce those feelings of social isolation that many people have struggled with during the pandemic. This is where the idea of Feeling Connected Week came from.
“Whether you are meeting with friends, have re-grouped with your social or special interest group or are having a team meeting with colleagues, or maybe you run or lead a group and haven’t met for some time but would really like to get going again. This could be the perfect opportunity to invite everyone to reconnect.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing and hearing about the positive impact that reconnecting with others has had on people and what they have been doing to support one another. But also it’s a great opportunity for us to provide further support to those who might still be struggling with loneliness and isolation.”
Feeling Connected project aims to raise the profile of the benefits of being socially connected, raise awareness of existing services that support social connectedness and identify interventions, initiatives, and activities to assist people to feel socially connected.
The project is a multi-agency Health and Wellbeing Partnership project in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, led by DVA. DVA, which has created a network of more than 300 organisations with the aim of making the voluntary sector stronger and more joined up, is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary this year after forming in 1991.
People can share their stories on social media of what they are doing to help themselves and others feel more connected during Feeling Connected Week by using the hashtags #FeelingConnected and #feelingconnectedweek.
Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.