The Oddfellows society is celebrating ten years of its annual Friendship Month by urging people to make more mates and meet more often.
The awareness campaign, running each September, celebrates the power of friendship, highlights the need to keep social as people age and signposts people to ways they can stay connected to their communities.
The Oddfellows is a worldwide friendly society supporting people in need through illness, accident or job loss. The Brighton and Sussex District branch meets in Worthing on the fourth Thursday of every month, from 7pm to 9pm, at Goring-by-Sea Methodist Church hall, Bury Drive, Goring.
Michael Porter, district secretary, said: “Many studies have proved how regular company is essential to living a happier life. In fact, some would say that spending time with friends is as important as eating healthily or exercising. Friends aren’t just there to socialise with, they provide support and comfort in times of need.
“Most of us make our friends through work, family or education. As we age and our life changes, we have less access to these everyday social opportunities, which can contribute towards social isolation in a huge way.”
The branch has organised a gathering in Arundel for tea and cake at Mill Road Leisure and Cafe on Monday, September 2, at 2.30pm.
The aim is to encourage people to make new friends, as it has been revealed almost half of adults with significant friends get together with them less than once a month.
Michael said: “The Oddfellows is here to offer friendship and support all year round but every September, as part of Friendship Month, we put on lots of exciting events which are perfect for first introductions.
“If someone is unsure about what to expect, please contact us so we can put you at ease. If we know someone new is coming on their own, we’ll always ensure there’s someone for them to ‘buddy up’ with until they find their feet.”
Contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01903 504492 for more information.