To mark Loneliness Awareness Week, we are highlighting the work done by Chesterfield FC Community Trust to help people who are at risk of isolation.
Brenda Clark, who lives locally, had been the carer for her mum until she passed away. The Trust arranged a wake for her mother and sorted out a memorial for her parents.
Brenda, 69, admits that “it wasn’t the nicest of times” when she first went to the Trust. Telling her story, she says: “With no family and only a couple of close friends, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went to the cafe at the HUB for some company and soon I became part of many of the activities down there.
“I really like the Spireites Speakeasy and the guests we have; sometimes I get to help run it and interview people. I also go to the Senior Spireites lunches and the regular gentle exercise classes. We also have trips away from this class. Recently I have even taken up Tai chi, which I would never have thought at my age!
“I still go to the cafe regularly, in fact so regularly that I am known as ‘Auntie Brenda’. There and through the activities, I have made lots of friends.
“During lock-down I have been in touch with some of those I have met on the activities and people from the Trust have been checking up on me. The Trust even sorted out a socially isolated birthday for me.
“Even though we speak on the phone and keep in touch on Facebook, I will be glad when I can be back to normal. I like to give something back and love to help with the pan-disability activities and the mental health work.
“For me, Chesterfield FC Community Trust feels like family and they have helped me. People need to know that there are plenty of people that you can talk to and there are people out there that care.”
Hosted by Marmalade Trust, Loneliness Awareness Week features a virtual campaign called ‘One Less Lonely Voice’; taking the ‘one’ out of loneliness to signify one less lonely voice.