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First steps to finding friendship after losing a partner

Posted: 12th April 2019

First steps to finding friendship after losing a partner

Withdrawing socially is normal after losing a partner. But when the time feels right to join in again, local friendship group Concord Branch of  Oddfellows say they can help make those daunting first steps a little easier to take.

Jane Nicole, Secretary for the Concord 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 South West Surrey and North East Hampshire based Branch of the Oddfellows is no stranger to supporting people through difficult times.

Jane 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 Relaxed Pub Quiz on Thursday 25 April in the function room at The Ely London Road, Blackwater at 7.30pm, as it’s a great first event for those who would like to meet new people. If quizzing is not your thing, then we have a couple of coffee mornings coming up. This includes Coffee and Cake at Seasons Café, The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking GU21 4AA at 10am on 3rd May and Noontime Natter on Friday 17 May, at Good Taste Coffee Shop, High Street, Camberley, from midday. Not to mention our games afternoon at Farnborough Community Centre, Meudon Ave, Farnborough GU14 7LE from 1.30pm on the 13th May. We’ve see 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, Concord Branch of the 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 Concord Branch’s latest events diary, contact Jane on Jane.Nicole@oddfellows.co.uk or call 01276 66868 or 07951 814860. For information on the Oddfellows and further advice on socialising again after losing a partner visit www.oddfellows.co.uk/firststeps.