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Interns host fair to help people find a friend




Togetherness Fayre at The Athenaeum, Angel Hill, Bury Saint Edmunds.West Suffolk Councils' interns are trying to tackle loneliness for all ages in Suffolk. Picture: Mark Westley.
Togetherness Fayre at The Athenaeum, Angel Hill, Bury Saint Edmunds.West Suffolk Councils' interns are trying to tackle loneliness for all ages in Suffolk. Picture: Mark Westley.

A Togetherness Fayre, organised by West Suffolk councils interns, was held on Tuesday with the aim of helping to combat loneliness.

The five interns – Ellie Golding, Izzy Howlett, Jenna Brame, Amy Brookes and Hattie Gibbs – staged the fayre at The Anthenaeum, in Bury St Edmunds.

The interns designed the event, which hosted 28 stalls, to raise awareness of the problem of isolation and loneliness. Organisations attending included charities and other community projects.

Ellie said: “It’s been really good and positive. It’s an opportunity for businesses and charities to remove the stigma of loneliness.”

The predicted footfall for the event was about 400 people, with both members of the public and local businesses in attendance.

Ellie said: “There’s different ways to combat it and we would love to hold an event again, perhaps at different locations. Lots of people have come up to us today and said that it’s something they have been looking forward to for a couple of weeks.

“There’s not any other events like this.”

Izzy added: “Loneliness is a big issue, everyone has been showing interest at the fayre and being positive.”

One of the stallholders was Young People of the Year (YOPEY), which runs schemes where young people can befriend care home residents, many living with dementia.

Also present was Our Special Friends, which aims to enhance wellbeing through animal companionship. Belinda Johnston, founder, and Gill Peat, a volunteer, were both present at the fayre, along with Belinda’s three dogs, Rolo, Simba and Otto.

For more information contact the interns on interns@westsuffolk.gov.uk



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