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As a volunteer you meet others with a kindred spirit, helping to combat loneliness for all

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 takes place from 9th – 15th May. This year’s theme is ‘Loneliness’ and its effect on our mental health. To mark the week, Kim Law, Business Relationship Manager – North West, writes about volunteering and how it can help us to feel less lonely.

I volunteer in a lot of different ways to give something back to the community. My volunteering takes the form of cooking each weekend for the Lifeshare Breakfast Project in central Manchester, which helps homeless, rough sleeping and vulnerable people.

We serve up to 60 breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, offer clothes, toiletries, shoes, support advice and just a good old chat with the lads and lasses.

We work around the year and during the week and the wider Lifeshare team help young people into accommodation and work. You can’t be lonely when you’re surrounded by people with such sad stories and who are sometimes quite hopeless in life.

As a volunteer you meet other fellow humans with a kindred spirit and there are lots of laughs to be had, helping to combat loneliness for all.

I volunteered during the pandemic at vaccination centres, helping to make the process as smooth as possible. I met some anxious, sad and lonely people during that time and did my best to elevate spirits. I also drove around nursing homes, delivering products from the pharmacy. It was a good time to be out and about and helping, no time to be lonely.

I’m also the chair of Governors at a local church school in my town which is a fab way to keep in touch with the younger generation. How can you feel lonely when surrounded by inquisitive, funny and charming primary kids?

So all in all, I fully advocate being a volunteer. It brings such richness to life and is a great loneliness and stress reliever.

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