We’re in this together

Two girls hugging with smiles

Throughout the lockdown, we have all been finding new and interesting ways to connect with one another. Social interaction has been incredibly important for everyone’s mental health, wellbeing and sense of connection. Across the country, the people we support have been finding amazing ways to stay in each other’s lives and supporting each other when loneliness starts setting in.

One form of communication that often gets missed, is the form of poetry. The Intervenor Service supports a wide range of people to access the community and explore the world around them. For many people, this is a lifeline and a chance for social interaction. The service also provides amazing events for people to join and get to know one another.

Accessing the community stopped becoming an option and the people who accessed that service lost that opportunity to socialise. The service manager, Deb, did her best to make sure that she stayed in contact with the families and individuals to provide them with whatever support they needed. Poetry was not on the list of her expectations.

A group of young people that are supported on their service decided that, to stay in contact, they would like to write poems to each other. After one was sent, the poems went flying back and forth. Max and Emma spent time on individual video calls helping each other with homework, writing riddles and sharing their experiences which they turned into poems.

A poem about social distancing

“I’m stuck at home with nothing to do,
Apart from the certainty of going to the loo,
I’m missing hugs,
And even stepping on slugs!
What about you?”

Missing friends and family during lockdown

I can’t wait to see people without having to stand 2 meters apart
I’m missing all my friends and family with all my heart.

I’m so bored at home, I wish I was back at school
Trying to keep my cool, but I really want to kick out like a stubborn mule.

I’d rather be in a different place, even as far out as space.
I’m sick and tired of looking at people through a screen
I understand why but it feels so mean.

I wish I could see them face to face
I love them so much seeing them would be ace!
I’ll shower each of them with a hug and a kiss
And when I finally see them again they’ll know they’ve been missed.

Joe and friends at Summit Point talking at a table having tea

Talking to peers is equally as important as talking to family or professionals which is why the Intervenor Team worked to nurture these relationships. Setting up group online sessions will give the young people a platform to socialise and develop relationships which help overcome the loneliness of social isolation.

National Loneliness Week highlights some of the issues we all face when tackling loneliness. For people with disabilities, extra barriers are in place to make combatting loneliness more difficult. At Sense, we focus on connecting differently and that includes building and maintaining social bridges. The real importance and value in this has been highlighted during the lockdown where supporting people has taken a whole new meaning. Supporting people to support each other.

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