"I know that sometimes, admitting to feeling lonely can make a person feel like a failure. But of course, that’s not true!"
Posted by Johanna Brooks on 17th June 2022
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week. Loneliness can affect anyone, and those feelings compounded are by city living. For younger people, pressures from places like work and social media can leave them feeling disconnected from their communities, and entrench feelings of loneliness. For older people, watching their city change around them at a fast pace can leave them feeling left out of the changes.
This week, we’re asking people from our network to share their experiences of living in big cities and how they overcame the isolation that it can bring. Liz, 70, joined Manchester Cares and in that time she’s been to 166 social clubs (and counting!) Here she shares her experiences of moving to Manchester at 19, how loneliness has affected her throughout her life, and how Manchester Cares has helped her overcome those feelings.
When I was 19 years old, I moved from Scotland to Manchester. For 51 years I’ve lived here, but I still remember what it was like to move to a big city for the first time. My parents didn't know I'd moved at first - it was a spur-of-the-moment decision!
I settled into life here, but over my older years - with my family scattered far and wide - I have felt lonely. My kids are grown up, my daughter and grandchildren live in London and my son was living in Australia for 10 years before recently returning to Manchester.
Loneliness can just hit you now and then. To me, it comes from nowhere and takes you by surprise. Loneliness makes you feel very sad, and emotional and it’s not that's easy to admit. I myself am very proud by nature, and so I know that sometimes, admitting to feeling lonely can make a person feel like a failure. But of course, that’s not true!
I know that sometimes, admitting to feeling lonely can make a person feel like a failure. But of course, that’s not true!
I am also, by nature someone, who loves life, socialising and events – and that’s how I’ve managed to overcome feelings of loneliness when they do come about.
It was that love of socialising that brought me to Manchester Cares. I love that Manchester Cares is about mixing older and younger people – no matter what your age you’re treated with the same respect, on a level playing field. The social clubs are a chance for me to learn from my neighbours – and have a laugh while doing so!
As you get older your physical appearance may change, but your mind pretty much stays the same. So for me, the opportunity to go to so many types of events, to put myself out there and to meet so many different types of people, young and old, is what I love about Manchester Cares.
Joining a local organisation like Manchester Cares is a great way to get to know and feel like you belong in a place. I’m so grateful to have the Manchester Cares community in my life, and I would recommend it to anyone – no matter if you’ve just moved to the city or if you’ve been here for over 50 years like me!