Shropshire Star

Ending loneliness and isolation – one charity's mission to help those suffering

For many loneliness is a hidden misery, lacking the physical symptoms that make the crippling pain obvious, but one Shropshire charity is on a mission to help those suffering.

Pete Brophy, from Omega,

Based on Shrewsbury's Town Walls Omega has one aim – ending isolation and loneliness.

Pete Brophy, a former West Mercia and West Midlands police officer, took on the role as the charity's chief executive in December and he is wasting no time with ambitious plans to make Omega the number one organisation in the country dedicated to combatting loneliness.

Set up in 2007 the charity currently provides support in three main ways – on the telephone through its Chatterbox befriending service, through the Letterbox pen-pal service, as well as small amounts of group meetings.

While the service is predominantly focused on helping elderly people suffering isolation, Pete said the charity is aware of the growing demand for its services from people in their 20s.

He said that the ultimate aim is to make Omega the go-to charity for people who want to help those struggling with loneliness.

He spoke of the debilitating impact of loneliness and isolation – and the importance of recognising the impact it has on people.

He said: "Someone said to me, that particularly in the elderly, that isolation is as impactful as smoking 40 cigarettes a day on your physical wellbeing, and it leads to early mortality.

"If you can do a bit to stop that then you are effectively saving people's lives."

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