‘Meeting Place’ group launched as place for people in Southampton to connect

‘Meeting Place’ group launched as place for people in Southampton to connect

People in Southampton looking to connect with others in the community can attend a new multigenerational group which has recently launched.

Meeting Place, set up by Saint Mary’s Church and supported by Communicare, will take place every Wednesday during term time at October Books in Portswood from 2.30pm.

 The new group to provide somewhere for people in the community to go for low-cost afternoon tea and a place to connect with others.

The new venture began after Suzanne Baker from October Books heard Sophie Holt-Fanner from Saints Mary’s Church speak at a recent Cost of Living conference about a social supermarket being run at Saint Mary’s Church. Suzanne made contact with Sophie and suggested some of the students from the church help to run a multigenerational group to help reduce isolation in Portswood.

Suzanne, who is the Community Space and Volunteer Coordinator at October Books, said: “We are keenly aware of how difficult it has been for so many of us in different ways over the recent months with the cost-of-living crisis.

“We wanted to respond to this in practical ways with our local community. As a consequence, we are delighted to partner with Saint Mary’s church and Communicare, who are putting on the Meeting Place here in our community space, where people can meet with others, try out activities familiar and new, and enjoy some refreshments together.”

Tricia Kenyon, Service Development Officer at Communicare, which helps vulnerable and isolated people in the city, said: “The group approached us for our support as it is our main aim as a charity to reduce loneliness and isolation across the city and this is a fantastic way to help tackle the problem and our service users have been attending and are finding it a great support.”

The first meeting of the group took place recently and was a huge success. Students from the church attended and arranged jigsaws and painting materials as well as scones and brownies around the room for attendees, who were able to choose what they would like to do. They were able to get on with the activities and socialise with other attendees and the students.



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