Standing Together Cymru (STC) is a peer support project for people in later life. Meet Jean, one of the members of this group. She speaks about her time with the project and how it changed her life.
“(STC) helped me talk about things that I hadn’t spoken to people living here before. I opened up more…”
Jean has lived experience of a long-term controlling relationship. During one group session she shared details of this period in her life. It was the first time she had spoken about this with other residents in the scheme. Jean also witnessed others in the group share poignant moments from their lives, which she found both enlightening and emotional.
“It’s made us more friends than neighbours”
Jean enjoyed talking about things outside of everyday conversations. Talks in STC groups delve deeper into people’s lives. Jean feels people better understand her since she was able to talk about her life and feels she better understands the others in the group too. By talking about things, they wouldn’t usually discuss together, Jean feels they have become closer.
“Things I said here I wouldn’t say outside the group to anybody else in the complex”
The level of trust within the group was important to Jean. She felt safe and comfortable to talk about things she wouldn’t usually choose to share. Jean found it interesting learning about others in the group too; she has learnt new things about people she has been living with for many years.
Research indicates feelings of loneliness and isolation could play a major role in the problems older people are facing. Nearly three-quarters of older people (72%) think that having more opportunities to connect with other people (e.g. joining local activity groups) would be the best way to help people who are experiencing mental health problems.
Consider making a donation so that we can run more life-changing groups like Standing Together Cymru.