11 May 2020
Last year Black Country charity Just Straight Talk launched a campaign to combat loneliness. Just Start Talking is a supportive community project that provides lonely and isolated people in Coseley and further afield with great opportunities to meet people and cultivate new friendships.
Over the last few months, Community Connectors Shona Giseman and Dave Roberts have adapted the project to work with new social distancing measures. Workshops and coffee mornings that used to meet in person now meet online, and the group sessions continue to give people routine, support and the opportunity increase their social circles even in these isolating times.
Making connections can be particularly challenging at the moment, but the Just Start Talking team are looking out for those who may be in need of support. They run weekly 1-2-1 Zoom tutorials for the older population, to make sure no one misses out on their virtual coffee mornings. They are also delivering shopping, prescriptions and jigsaws to vulnerable people in isolation.
The symbol of Just Start Talking is a pom-pom, which volunteers make and scatter across the community to highlight the issue of loneliness and show that there is always someone out there who cares. Even the pom-pom has a lockdown revamp: look out for a pom-pom rainbow in a front window near you!
For more information – and a step-by-step guide to make you own pom-pom rainbow, please visit the Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness Facebook page.