Loneliness, particularly for older people, is increasingly recognised as a major public health challenge but a Worthing community club is working to address the issue head on.
The Glamour Club was founded by Janice Moth, director of It Socks To Be Lonely Sometimes, to bring people together.
Janice is on a mission to start a Glamour Club in every village, town and city possible by the end of 2029, ensuring a society where no-one is lonely.
Janice said: “Some estimates suggest that over 1.5million people over 50 suffer with chronic loneliness. Additionally, loneliness is said to cost the economy up to £1.8billion per year. However, the human cost of loneliness is lasting damage to health and emotional wellbeing.
“The Glamour Club is really about addressing the scourge of loneliness head on and by so doing provides much-needed camaraderie and companionship at the bi-monthly events themselves and beyond.
“The UK has an increasingly aging population and there is a continuing need for good-quality social activities for older people. The Glamour Club are unique, are pioneers, activists and catalysts for change and are working towards their mission to have a society where no-one is lonely.”
The next Glamour Club event is the Sparkle and Twinkle Mid Summers Ball on Saturday, June 15, from midday to 3pm in The Barn at English Martyrs Catholic Church in Goring.
Tickets are £10 to include all-you-can eat high tea, served by table hosts, and live music from Karen Etherington, singing songs from the 1940s to 1960s. Telephone 0786 1715918 or find The Glamour Club on Facebook for more information.
To celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage, Janice has invited women who have inspired her. British athlete Lizzie Williams, Worthing mayor Hazel Thorpe and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Samantha Allen will be among her special guests.
Janice said: “Sam works tirelessly and one of her commitments is to the communities she serves.”
Samantha, who is also chairman of the Health and Care Women Leaders Network, feels it is important to support and work collectively to empower and support women working across health and care.
It is also thought technology could play a significant role in combating loneliness in the elderly but surveys show many older people lack confidence in using electronic devices for essential online activities.
The Glamour Club is now collaborating with partners to bring a new range of online learning opportunities to enable older people to improve their wellbeing, at the same time as connecting with others in the community.
Janice added: “We are also planning customised, tailor-made and specialist Glamour Clubs in different settings, too, such as hospital wards, care homes and at established clubs and groups. We are Dementia Friends, too. They are flexible and willing to look at different options based on need. They will meet the need where the need needs to be met.”
Janice volunteers all of her free time to The Glamour Club and is proud to have been a finalist in the West Sussex Women in Business Excellence Awards 2018 and among the finalists in the MPower National Women in Business Awards 2019.
She said: “I would like to thank all of those who volunteer alongside me, too. This has helped fill the loneliness gap in my own life. If you would like to sponsor, collaborate or volunteer, then please do get in touch.”