Carer Welbeing: "Connecting" with others

Hi all,
We are really struggling with this at the moment.

“Connecting” with people is important for wellbeing and good MH, but not always easy to achieve. I know this is something that affects a lot of others on here too.

S and I are both lucky to be out during the day, however S is still desperate to visit folk at weekends and holiday periods. I feel very lonely too. We don’t have family to connect with and our friends all have such busy lives/ lives are changing, whereas ours is quite static.
Colleagues who we socialised with in the past who had young families, now have teenagers/ adult children so they are gaining independence of each other, whereas we still need family-type events and get togethers.

I try to do things with S: he goes to clubs, we go to Special Olympics (where I’m his 1:1,) so I’m not really able to socialise much, we go to Cafe church twice a month, we go out and about; but don’t really seem to have friends to connect with any frequency or regularity.

I do have friends that I have known for years, but we don’t manage to meet up often.

I really need opportunities that work for the both of us, I just don’t know what that would look like. It would need to be inclusive and relaxing for S, otherwise I’d be solely occupied supporting him. That’s why he likes visiting people: food, a sofa to chill on, a bit of a chat etc

Hopefully, come September, I will have a bit more time on my hands to do something for me; but I will still have the same challenge at weekends and holiday periods.


Hi Melly
What about looking at befriending schemes… but where you and S are the befrienders? You have so much experience to offer a young family and he might do well with the elderly - usually lots of cake involved. I’ve made some of my best friends through volunteering . The friends come from the other volunteers

Ands whats this about September? Youve also been quiet on the morning issues. We may be virtual friends but we do notice :wink:

Hi Melly

I just wondered if this link may be of interest?

I understand the problem, no real solutions though.

I can understand you Melly. Wish had a solution for you. World is full of people but loneliness is still rife.

Some of the lonelieness initiatives in our area include a Mens breakfast and 2 anyone pop ins, but I don’t think they’d fit Melly and S.

I can see that weekends are harder. We are all reaping the downsides of smaller, more geographically separated families

When my kids were small and my husband was working 7 days a week on winter ferry refits, I dreaded the weekends.

Everyone assumes people have families, some of us simply don’t have vast families and extended networks across the country. I lost all grandparents by age of 4, mother and father were only children so no uncles, aunts, or cousins either. When parents are gone that doesn’t leave much in the way of family. I think trying to “connect” to someone you need to be on the same wavelength so shared experiences and background. Most of my close friends are in a similar position. Personally I would be overwhelmed by someone with a large extended family so although looking for a break you probably need to find a similar mum or dad holding the fort together who will “get it”.

The liveability link looked good, Henrietta, but unfortunately doesn’t operate in our area.

Mrs. A, I often think about volunteering and research it at intervals, but haven’t found anything that fits the bill. Befriending isn’t an angle I had thought of. Will research opportunities.

Henrietta, I do know several mums/carers that are in the same situation, but our young people don’t have anything in common, so we tend to meet up when our young people are at college. Haven’t met up so much recently, though did manage it a few weeks ago.
Our family is a small one, I have a Mum and sister, but they live down South. My Dad was an only child. My Mum’s brother died and her sister has dementia and lives up North in a nursing home. I have seven cousins, but none nearby. When I first moved here, my Granny, Auntie and Uncle lived in a neighbouring county.

Thanks BB and Pet.

Keep the ideas flowing.


Sounds like there’s room in the market for a “weekenders social organisation”

Our village has a once a month Saturday coffee morning which is well attended, but mainly by the elderly. I now realise this is because they are probably lonelier at weekends. Weekday events seem to limited to membership organisations such as WI, craft club etc. The Saturday event is open to all.

Again I don’t have a solution but I absolutely identify with the friends disappearing due to children growing up and then having grandchildren. Our friends were always through shared activities - work, sport, music and once we stopped the activities most of the friends melted away in favour of family. Also a lot of job relocation moving them away from the area.

Can you have a look at whats going on at your local library? ours has details of groups and walks etc.
What about joining a WI or church group, you don’t have to be religious, lots of people just go for the social side of things.

Are there any sports or walking groups you can do together?

I think you just have to keep an eye out whats going on.Also remember that no company is often better than bad company. I’ve been to walking groups before and had people talking constantly about health problems/hospital admissions etc. Obviously you don’t want that!

Hi Elizabeth,

We do keep an eye out on noticeboards at the library, local supermarket etc and sometimes see a Family fun day or similiar to go to. We are popping to the library today, so I’ll remember to take a peek then. We’re going to cafe church tomorrow evening which is sociable.

Thanks for the ideas.

Your walking groups conversations definitely weren’t very upbeat! :unamused:


Don’t discount your local food bank !

100,000+ of our fellow carers had to use one in the calender year ended 31 December 2017.

A card inside one of those might produce a result … I have been contacted by four locally since my hook up with
the Worksop food bank earlier this year.

Made a welcomed change from dealing with UC related stuff !

Hi Chris,
We are fortunate enough not to have needed to use a food bank, though have donated via local supermarket. Do you mean they have community noticeboards of social opportunities or that we might find volunteering/ befriending opportunities there?



In Worksop , now a community hub … given the sheer number using the facility.

( Baby and younger children supplies now stocked … virtually go before they’re unpacked ! Two way communication with
the four remaining charity shops on the immediate manor. )

Some of the larger ones … West End in Newcastle-upon-Tyne being the current largest … even have football /
darts / bowling teams … almost a whole sub culture beneath the surface.

Given the space and funding , even the one here in Worksop would accomodate a cafe … as almost all the ones
dating back to the days of the mining industry have closed. Perhaps even a parent / toddler group ?

Bouncing ideas off them has been " Interesting " … if not the source of funding to expand !

Somewhere for the community at the lower end to socialise … all in the mire together ?

Good evening.This is a great idea. I too feel lonely too.?I am a carer for my Hubby who has terminal cancer,& once a fortnight there is a great magazine called yours with pen pals.Take a look.This might be of help.Its free to join regards Amandah