A South Wales therapist and wellbeing trainer is launching a new anti-loneliness initiative designed to support those feeling isolated.
Lianne Weaver, founder of Newport-based Beam Development and Training, was inspired to do research into loneliness after seeing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on so many people.
What she learned moved her so much that she has now set up The Social Medicine, an eight-week project which offers anyone feeling lonely the chance to connect with others at a virtual event, which is free of charge.
“Anyone can feel lonely at any time,” said Lianne. “It doesn’t matter how wide your social circle is, whether or not you live alone, or what stage of life you are at. Loneliness can be triggered by many different things, including bereavement, changing job or location, or losing a friend.
“And this year of course we are all living under restrictions which make it more difficult than ever to connect with others. We are social creatures and we need contact much like we need food. In the same way as we feel hungry when we need to eat, we feel lonely when we need to connect with others.”
The Social Medicine starts on Sunday, November 1 at 6pm and is a one-hour Zoom workshop, featuring a different inspirational and entertaining guest speaker each week. Attendees will also have the chance to connect one-to-one with others on the call in breakout rooms. There is no requirement for attendees to speak as part of the wider group.
“Loneliness often makes us feel that we are not good enough, or it can cause a lack of self worth,” said Lianne. “We can be left feeling that there’s something wrong with us because we’re experiencing loneliness, which isn’t the case. It is simply our brain’s way of telling us that we need to reach out and make contact with someone else.
“In these difficult times, The Social Medicine is designed to help people to do just that. We’ll also be offering tips on what people can do to maintain some contact in the week ahead.”
The guest speaker for the inaugural event is Dean Powell, an acclaimed journalist, author, broadcaster and vocalist, who will be talking about his life in the newspaper industry.