A recent study* revealed more than nine million people admit they either “always” or “often” feel lonely. That’s bigger than the entire population of London.
In Coventry, Chris has lived with loneliness for most of her life since developing epilepsy as a child. Presented with the diagnosis and further challenges, misunderstandings and stigma at a young age, it’s unsurprising Chris admits her mental health was affected.
“My life journey has given me understanding, empathy and compassion for others facing similar issues. I wanted to help others but didn’t know how or where to start.”
An encounter with Grapevine on an organised walk in her local park showed Chris how a group of like-minded people could bring about the change they wanted to see and support each other in leading that change. This became the catalyst for ‘Creative Kindness’.
Creative Kindness create things to share with others so they too feel valued. A core of five people grew to 13, meeting weekly to craft, chat and laugh together. Friendships formed around a common purpose. The best thing of all? It’s thriving without us – feeding off individual strengths and overcoming weaker areas as a group. There’s a role for everyone.
Chris concludes: “Amber took on social media. Jo is the logistical thinker. Linda is extremely creative. And I helped bring the initial idea together with the people I call the enablers… Grapevine.”
Create some kindness
Creative Kindness is every Thursday from 10am – 12 noon at the Central Library in Coventry city centre. Everyone is welcome.
Sessions from 10.30am – 12.30pm start at Coundon Library on 10 March. Follow along on Instagram.
They are looking to grow the movement to other libraries and spaces across Coventry. Do you have some spare time, want to make a difference, believe in the power of community or enjoy creativity and making things? Talk to them at a session or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*British Red Cross and Co-op research, 2016.