After experiencing profound loneliness following the loss of his wife, John found solace and renewed purpose through the activities and support provided by Creating Connections, Guild Care's warm and welcoming service for people aged 65 and over in Worthing.

“Creating Connections was launched by Guild Care to help reduce social isolation among older people in our community,” explains Jo Sherman, manager of Creating Connections. “We realised there was a need to bring people together, and our weekly schedule of activities have proved incredibly popular, including our quizzes, art & crafts groups and singing for fun."

A New Beginning

John moved to Sussex from South Africa with his British wife, and after her passing four years ago, he found himself increasingly isolated. Health issues, such as vertigo and dizziness, further limited his social interactions. John, once a keen musician and squash player, lost his confidence and stopped playing his guitar.

Determined to change his situation, John joined Creating Connections. Initially, he felt hesitant. “When I first arrived, I felt awkward. I thought, ‘Jeez, you’re not that old,’ but I gave it a try,” he shared. This marked the beginning of a remarkable transformation.

Finding Passion and Community

John immersed himself in various activities offered by Creating Connections. He discovered a passion for table tennis, attending sessions three times a week. “My whole life I’ve kept fit, playing squash years ago. I don’t want to come to a standstill,” John noted. He also rekindled his love for singing, participating in the weekly "Singing for Fun" sessions. “It’s amazing what it does for you. It really lifts your spirits,” he said.

The friendships John formed became a crucial part of his support system. “I feel less isolated as a result of attending Creating Connections,” he said. Now, John considers many group members as family and volunteers two hours a week to give back to the community that helped him regain his zest for life.

Creating Connections - A Solution

Guild Care developed Creating Connections as part of its commitment to reducing social isolation and loneliness among older people in Worthing. Launched in 2021, Creating Connections links older people who feel isolated or lonely with community volunteers eager to contribute to their local community.

John’s story illustrates the impact of these efforts. “I decided I’ve got to do something myself. I can’t expect others to do it for me,” he explained. His advice to others facing similar struggles is straightforward: “You’re the only one who can heal yourself, so just come along and see what happens.”

Creating Connections has played a pivotal role in John’s rediscovery of life. “Creating Connections has made a huge difference. It’s been brilliant,” John concluded, reflecting on the positive impact the group has had on his life.

For more information about our Creating Connections service, visit Guild Care - Creating Connections. To donate to Guild Care, click here.

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