Withdrawing socially is normal after losing a partner -but when the time feels right to join in again, local friendship group Blackpool Oddfellows say they can help make those daunting first steps a little easier to take.
Colin Burbidge, Social Co-ordinator for the Blackpool Branch, said: “Wanting time alone or to stay in is only natural following the loss of a partner, and the time it takes to feel ready to step out and meet people again is a very personal thing. It can be a matter of weeks for some, or possibly years for others. Our advice is to take it one step at a time and to do it when it feels right.”
With over two centuries of experience in offering friendship and support to its local members, the Blackpool-based Branch of the Oddfellows is no stranger to supporting people through difficult times.
Colin continued: “When you’ve lost someone it can be hard to muster up the courage to join in and meet new people again. We understand how daunting it can be as you probably did a lot of things as a couple. Sustaining friendships can seem hard after a loss, but over time the people around you will be a crucial part of helping you to cope moving forward.
“There are so many wonderful things to get involved with locally. We’d recommend coming along to our Coffee Morning on Thursday, April 11, at 10.30am at The Solaris Café, South Promenade, as it’s a great first event for those who would like to meet new people. We’ve seen many supportive friendships form within our group, especially between other widows and widowers because they just know what each other is going through.”
If you’ve recently lost a partner and feel ready to start socialising again, Blackpool Oddfellows shared the following advice:
See what events are on locally. Don’t go for anything overly ambitious at first, but events
such as coffee mornings, interesting talks, or something linked to a hobby, are perfect.
Ring ahead so you know what to expect. Many groups, such as the Oddfellows, will arrange
for someone to meet you on the door, or pair you with a friendly regular. You could always
bring a friend or family member along with you to give you some support.
Just give it a try. If it’s not for you, then don’t go again. You’ve nothing to lose.
To have a chat with somebody ahead of trying out an event, or to receive Blackpool Oddfellows’
latest events diary, contact Colin on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01253 395833 between 9am and 5pm. For information on the Oddfellows and further advice on socialising again after losing a partner visit www.oddfellows.co.uk/firststeps.