Philotes in Greek mythology is a minor goddess or spirit associated with personifying affection and friendship. She is the cause of good things. Philotes sonarensis is also a pretty blue butterfly – hence our logo. Looking at a butterfly always makes me smile. They are so gentle yet have a very powerful effect on our emotions and to me just make life better. That is the aim of the Philotes Friendship Club.
My vision is for this to be a club that embraces all members of our society whoever they are, who are feeling lonely. It is not just a focus group for one section eg the elderly, new parents, the disabled, but a way for everyone to come together and meet new people with different lives. The last thing I wanted as a new mum was to be around more babies. If I could have found someone to read to them whilst I has a quiet cup of tea that would have been amazing. Studies have also shown that for older people to be around younger children has huge benefits. This is only one example of how bringing different people together can work wonders.
I also envisage that we will engage with other parts of our communities and help where we can. This could be as simple as knitting a scarf to be sold for a local charity or offering time to relieve a carer – the ideas are limitless, and I look forward to exploring with you what we can do. All ideas are welcome. Or if you just want a cup of tea and a chat on a regular basis then pop along – there is no obligation to do anything more than that.
As things develop I hope to be able to share with you stories as to how we have helped improve people’s lives – either individually or more widely. We also aim to be able to inform the nationwide debate and do our small part in helping to eradicate loneliness.