The invitation is part of Leeds Oddfellows’ Friendship Month celebrations this September, where its members are hosting special taster events to help people plug any friendship gaps and experience the benefits of joining a community-based social group.
“Your friendship needs and circle of friends can alter dramatically in later life,” explained Helen Bullock, Social Organiser of the Leeds District of the Oddfellows.
“We often talk about the dangers of loneliness to our health, but you don’t have to be lonely to need new friends.
"We benefit from having a well-rounded friendship group – which includes new friends, pals with shared hobbies and interests and friends who challenge and support you.”
“We’ve a wonderful range of personalities and people here at the Oddfellows. September’s the perfect time to try us out as we’ve some great Friendship Month events lined up, as well as our usual warm welcome,” added Helen.
Events planned in Leeds include a Cuppa & Chat on Friday September 15, Speed Dominoes on Tuesday September 19, and a Food with Friends at Zorbas, Crossgates taking place on Thursday October 5.
Psychologist, author and friend of the Oddfellows, Dr Denise Taylor, echoes the importance of checking in on how you feel about your friendships, especially as you get older and circumstances change.
She said: “Friendships are vital to our social wellbeing and can have a direct effect on our physical and mental wellbeing.
"As we journey through life, we can go through many stages of transition – retirement, relocation, losing loved ones, which mean that some friendships may slip away.
"Our opportunities to maintain a supportive social circle often reduces and the friendships we do have can take more work.
“I advise taking stock of your friendship network at regular stages in your life.
"Look at your own social wellbeing and identify what needs to change to ensure you feel fulfilled and supported by those around you.”
Dr Denise added: “It’s not one-size-fits-all when it comes to an ideal mix of friends. It’s about identifying what you value, and doing something about it.”
To register an interest in attending a Friendship Month event, or to request a free local events pack, contact Helen Bullock on 07709 295317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details can also be found at www.friendshipmonth.com.