Manifesto

  1. This group is about friends – not therapy. It is for people with life altering long-term conditions, but it is not necessarily about illness or recovery.
  2. Isolation and loneliness have a significant impact on the mind and body. It can negatively affect all areas of life. For some people, isolation and loneliness can seem like an insurmountable and hopeless challenge.friend-life
  3. Positive social contact empowers people. Its significance cannot be underestimated. Just as isolation and loneliness can affect all areas of life, so can the beneficial effects of friendship.
  4. Positive social experiences requires opportunity and reciprocity. By definition, escaping from isolation and loneliness requires the response and pro-activity of other people. It is not something that anyone can do alone.
  5. Friendships have the power to change lives. They are necessary for a healthy mind and body. When you’re ill, the importance of making genuine friendships is no less important than anything else you do to look after yourself.bdc6273f7e97559a0fca367b53d7817c
  6. Because of the unique challenges faced by young people when they are ill, and because young ill people often struggle to find each other in the “real” world, this group actively seeks to create a space for young people in which they can come together.
  7. We are aimed at younger adults because having friends your own age is important. This is something that healthy people take for granted, but many young ill people can go for years – even decades – without any in-person contact with friends their own age, or without knowing anyone who is in their situation. Furthermore, as most support groups incline towards older members it is necessary for us to be explicit in who we want to attract as a group.
  8. Friends are role models for each other. We gain courage from seeing others who are facing the same fears and problems that we must face, and who can empathise with the same losses as we ourselves have. l:
  9. It is good to have friends of a range of ages, and that includes having friends your own age. Young adults who are ill have just as much right to make friends with other young adults as healthy young adults do. They didn’t lose this right when they got sick.
  10. Illness affects people differently at different stages of life. For example, younger ill adults may lose things that older adults secured in a healthy past, such as an education, a career, a spouse, or children. Knowing others who know the same complicated losses as you do can make all the difference in the world.
  11. Many young people report that just spending time with other young people who are going through what they are going through makes them feel more able to cope, and less prone to despair.4dfc75af7f58a37e7958e59c9e6e2b69
  12. We take a big picture approach to support groups. We see support groups as patches on a patchwork blanket. Each “patch” serves a different purpose but works together for a larger goal. Because of this, we want to support, work with, and promote other groups when possible.
  13. Illness is about being human. It is about you and your life, never the other way around. We focus on the whole person and not just on their condition. We are people-focused, not illness- or recovery-focused.1b72ac01ebdb4c6547464b88e41f805a
  14. Everyone sees illness in a different way. Someone who has been ill for five years may see illness very differently to someone who has been ill for 15. This reflects different needs, experiences, expectations, personalities, and perhaps different conditions and degrees of health or illness as well. Your illness is yours, whether you are trying to recover from it, manage it, accept it, live with it, or forget about it. There is no one right way to approach it just as there is no one way to approach life.
  15. Fun is an important part of health. We make the community healthier and stronger by promoting friendship and by providing a space to chill out and feel “normal”.Love this one! Marc Johns:
  16. As a group we can take part in the community and do things we wouldn’t otherwise do.
  17. We are looking for people who want to support us in our goals.

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