Borderers urged to think differently about loneliness

THIS Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May), people in the Borders who are lonely are being asked to consider volunteering as a way to improve their health and wellbeing.

Volunteering for Wellbeing is a joint initiative between Volunteer Centre Borders, Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders to improve the health of people who don’t have as much chance to speak and meet with others as they would like.

The project which started earlier this year, matches people who describe themselves as lonely with a volunteering opportunity with regular support to evaluate whether the experience is having the desired positive effect.

VCB Executive Officer, Gordon Brown, said: “Even though most people feel lonely at some point in their lives, many are still reluctant to admit it to others or even themselves. This can have a negative impact on someone’s health; lacking social connections has been described as being as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“We know that one of the best ways to address that is by volunteering; there are hundreds of different volunteering opportunities where someone can do something they enjoy, meet new people, make a difference in their local community– and improve their wellbeing at the same time.

“If you are, or know, someone who would benefit from volunteering then please email me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "