As International Day of Friendship approaches on Thursday 30 July, Nedlands-based not-for-profit peak body for Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres in WA Linkwest is urging West Australians who are lonely, isolated or who would simply like to make friends, to contact their local Family Centre, Learning Centre or Community Resource Centre.
Jane Chilcott, CEO of Linkwest, says research has shown that people who attend their local Centre tend to be happier, more optimistic, have increased emotional wellbeing and feel more connected, all of which makes for stronger, healthier communities.
“International Friendship Day is focused on celebrating connections, and recognising how important friendships are to us all, in terms of helping to keep us physically and emotionally healthy, deal with stress and make better lifestyle choices that keep us strong and happy,” Ms Chilcott says.
“This is particularly relevant to our organisation as Linkwest members offer dedicated community spaces that provide a friendly, welcoming place where local people can meet to learn, gain new skills, make friends and feel part of their community. And so International Friendship Day is an obvious time for us to reach out to West Australians everywhere to say if you haven’t already checked out your local Centre, we would very much urge you to do so.
“Sound friendships are connected to emotional wellbeing, which is why our Centres play such an important part in the community, something we’ve seen particularly this year during the COVID crisis, where Centres have continued to provide on-line services to help people maintain friendships,” she adds.
International Friendship Day is focused on celebrating connections
The activities offered at Centres are as diverse as the communities in which they operate. Courses for adults and children can include arts and crafts, health and fitness, business and finance, computing and IT, and personal development. Some Centres also provide crèche services and have youth groups, self-help and support groups, as well as playgroups and after-school care.
To search for a Linkwest Member Centre, go to: https://www.linkwest.asn.au/searchdirectory/search/
International Day of Friendship is a United Nations day that promotes the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures. It is observed on 30 July each year.