A Bit about Creating Caring Connections by Steph Stanhope

Connection is a crucial component of our health and wellbeing. It has been reported that feeling disconnected, lonely, and isolated can be as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It has also been linked with an increase in our risk of depression, heart disease and dementia. 
Creating Caring Connections CIC aims to promote wellbeing through connection, focusing on three areas: connection to self, loved ones and the community. 
All three elements are interconnected and influence each other. Having a strong connection to ourselves is all about taking the time to really understand what makes us tick; what is important to us, what makes us feel good and what helps us stay feeling well when times get tough. Our sense of self is also influenced by those around us, people we’re close to and those who inspire us, as well as where we live. 
Unsurprisingly, as we age and move through life, a connection to ourselves, our loved ones and the community remain important and an integral element of maintaining our health and wellbeing. 
We have been working closely with Mill Lane Care Home over the last few years to develop intergenerational connections within the local community. Together we host school sessions, welcoming children from Grange Primary School each week during term time, and parent (grandparent/carer) and child groups during school holidays. 
Intergenerational Connections sessions are an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and share space and time. An opportunity to have fun, to share meaningful moments, to feel a sense of purpose and pride. It is opportunities like this that help build resilience within individuals and within communities; creating a more accepting, inclusive, and cohesive place to live. 
Our companionship support has a focus on connection by supporting people to continue to do things that are important to them. To help create or re-create meaningful moments. Block support from 2 hours is available to allow time for activities such as going for a walk into town or along the beach and is a period of time that may also support a family carer to have a break from their caring responsibilities, so they too can do something that helps them to stay connected to their own sense of self. 
We are a social species, designed for connection, a need within us to feel a sense of belonging, to be a part of something. Connection allows us to feel seen and valued and it allows us to see and value others. Small moments of connection can make a big difference: simple acts of kindness, making eye contact, smiling at people you see as you go about your day, picking up the phone, sending a message to check in with a friend or family member. What will you do today to connect with yourself, a loved one or the community?

To find out more about Creating Caring Connections CIC, and how to get involved in and support our work visit our website