At Glider we are firm believers in the importance of giving back to our communities and helping those in need. That is why we are incredibly proud to be working directly with the regional charity, Stronger Together to help support people in the North East of England who are at risk of social isolation.
As well as using our expertise to help with their technology needs, we are funding one of the charity’s new social groups.
Who is Stronger Together?
Stronger Together is a charity operating across the North East of the country, working with people whose circumstances may leave them socially isolated. The Stronger Together team supports people with mental or physical health issues, those living with dementia and their carers, people who are going through a bereavement and many more.
Social isolation can have a negative impact on our mental health, this is especially true for those of us living with illnesses or conditions that make it difficult to get out and about or to meet new people. Research suggests that isolation is associated with a risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress. Stronger Together knows the importance of social interaction and helps to facilitate small groups where people can meet, chat, laugh and try new fun activities.
What are the groups?
Stronger Together’s groups vary according to the needs of the attendees, with activities designed to be fun and beneficial to those with extra needs. Each week several small groups are welcomed with a cup of tea and time to chat and make friends, before taking part in an activity tailored to their abilities if they wish.
Activities can be anything from arts and crafts to music and singing, gardening, cooking or anything else! Attendees are grouped by their situation, so they will always have something in common and the activities will always be just right for them.
How is Glider helping?
As Stronger Together’s tech partner, Glider has provided its expertise on all things web and data related to ensure the website is fully functional and accessible. We have also worked with the charity to help secure their data and make sure they’re complying with any and all data protection laws – something which is particularly important because the Stronger Together team often receive referrals from the NHS.
We have also provided the funds to start up a completely new group, which launched in September and includes NHS referrals – it is designed for patients with extra needs whose health could be at risk from social isolation. By starting up this group, we are pleased to be contributing to furthering the quality of life of vulnerable people and the funding we provided means these groups are free to attend – there are no fees to attend the group or to take part in the activities.
“The group was so much fun – we laughed all the way through!” Katie Adams, Founder, Trustee and Wellbeing Coordinator at Stronger Together said after the inaugural meet-up. “Two of the ladies in the group even live very close to one another, so the connection they’ve made will last way beyond their time with us. It is an amazing result for just one session!”
“Glider is making such a difference to the lives of these people, they are all living with different challenges, but are keen to improve their social lives. Some of them were very anxious about coming but left with smiles on their faces.”
How you can get involved
Stronger Together is run by a team of volunteers who facilitate the sessions, and as more and more groups kickstart they will need more people to support. If you are living in the local community and would like to contribute to the charity’s cause, you can drop them an email to register your interest in volunteering to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glider donates both time and funds to this incredibly worthy cause – and they do also accept individual donations.
Most importantly, if you know of anyone who may be at risk of social isolation, see if there is a local group available for them to attend on Stronger Together’s website, or if there isn’t a group in your area, get in touch as they could start a new one. They are always looking for new communities to engage with.