AN exciting new initiative designed to befriend newcomers to the area, has been launched in Coleraine.
The Causeway Friendship Club first started in Belfast many years ago with the aim of reducing loneliness and isolation felt by many who are new to the area.
Launched upstairs in a local café, last week, the event was attended by the club’s founder, Stephanie Mitchell, who shared her experience of setting up a group for the first time.
Stephanie spoke about the Belfast club and how she saw membership grow from a few people sitting around a table to 40 people now attending on a weekly basis.
Describing the Friendship Club “as a place where different people meet to find common ground”, she said she believed that human beings “ultimately have more in common than what separates and divides us”.
She spoke about the importance of welcoming people, especially those who do not have the luxury of having family and friends in their close proximity and she painted the friendship club not as charity but as a “solidarity.”
“The Causeway Friendship Club plans to provide a welcoming and open space for people to get together and have a chat on a monthly basis,” she said.
And she urged people from the local area to “rise to the challenge” and invite someone new along to the next meeting.
“It might be someone who is new to the borough or simply someone to whom you would like to extend the hand of friendship,” she said.
The initiative, which is supported by Coleraine Multicultural Forum, Kilcranny House and funded by the Peace Partnership, will take place on the third Wednesday of every month.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 17th between 7pm – 9pm at Ground Cafe, Coleraine. For more information contact Paddy at Kilcranny House or email email@example.com.