We Matter Friendship group

We Matter Friendship group

Regular friendship group for isolated women in Longsight.

Benefit of social activities

Connecting with others is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, five evidence-based actions which can improve personal wellbeing. Social connectedness has a strong positive impact on both physical and mental health. Increased social connectedness is linked to reduced mortality risk, healthier lifestyles and higher cognitive functioning. Socially well-connected people are more resilient, feel more able to take charge of their lives and less stressed. Older adults that are socially connected experience increased life satisfaction.

Location

Longsight

Project team

Buzz Health and Wellbeing Service (Neighbourhood Health Worker)

Aim

To provide a weekly space for isolated women in Longsight to meet, socialise and form friendships.

Testimonies

Many women felt it was the only place they could celebrate their good news (most women are first generation migrants who haven't been in the UK for very long). Many women had had babies in the last few months and the group was a place where they discussed their baby's development as well as their own health and wellbeing.

One woman talked about the group helping with her depression.

Another individual talked about craft being therapeutic - "I felt relaxed sound something different".

“As an individual, I felt Rick really understood the purpose and need for the group.” – We Matter

Evaluation

This group was funded successfully for 2 years but funding had stopped. The group didn't meet until they had obtained new funding from Buzz.

The group was disrupted by COVID-19.

Food and craft items were distributed to the group with the remaining funding.

Strategic links to local/national policies

Benefit

Policy

Social inclusion

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Enabling resilient communities

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Research/evidence base

Global Council on Brain Health (2017) - The Brain and Social Connectedness

Ministry of Social Development (2018) - The measurement of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing

New Economics Foundation (2008) – Five ways to wellbeing

Oliver Huxhold, Martina Miche, Benjamin Schüz. (2014) Benefits of Having Friends in Older Ages: Differential Effects of Informal Social Activities on Well-Being in Middle-Aged and Older Adults, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 69, Issue 3, Pages 366–375.

Umberson, D. & Montez, J. K. (2010) Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 51(S) S54–S66.

Contact

Rick Plant Community Development Manager

rick.plant@gmmhs.nhs.uk

T. 0161 271 0568

Nico Dhillon - Neighbourhood Health Worker

nico.dhillon@gmmh.nhs.uk

T. 07553 708029


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