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Hi everyone, well this is my very first blog and I would like to welcome everyone reading it – and a sincere thanks.  In my professional life I teach people, older (and some younger) to use computers, to browse the interest, use email, shop online and connect to social media such as Facebook.  There is great satisfaction in this work – and I can honestly say it is my passion.  When you see people connect to their loved ones with Skype and email and Facebook or check out their local club or society online to see what is going on.  If there is one big theme in my work it is connection, connection to friends and family, connection to sports clubs and societies – connection to community.  Parish and community news and events are a really important connection to what’s going on in a community and they are important links for people to feel that they are part of a community, that they belong.  In a society that is increasingly busy and self-absorbed it is easy to become disconnected with neighbours, with friends or even family.  And yet these connections are what keep us vibrant and contribute hugely to our well-being.

According to the Alone charity loneliness among older people is believed to be as damaging to their health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, as well as saying social isolation among older people – those aged 65 years and over at a higher risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system.  That is pretty shocking, so if there is one message here its reach out, get out and get connecting.  Until next time, take care.

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