Friendship Month: Don't give up on socialising and seeing your friends, urges The Oddfellows Brighton and Sussex district friendship group

As living costs continue to rise, The Oddfellows' Brighton and Sussex district friendship group is urging people to keep socialising and not cut back on seeing their pals.
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The not-for-profit group, with more than 400 members in the area, is celebrating Friendship Month in September with the message 'keep investing in friends'.

Many of the members are older or retired and the group is increasingly concerned about the impact reduced social contact could have on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

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Organisers say it is a lesson learned from the pandemic and they are making extra efforts to ensure people can continue to have access to affordable social events and opportunities to socialise locally.

The Oddfellows' Brighton and Sussex district friendship groupThe Oddfellows' Brighton and Sussex district friendship group
The Oddfellows' Brighton and Sussex district friendship group
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Lynne Allard, branch secretary, said: "When you’re stretched financially, you’ve no choice but to look at how you can better budget or where to spend less.

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"We want to remind people that socialising doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s not where you get together that matters, but that you’re just getting together.

"We saw the effect spending less time in the company of others had on our members during the pandemic and we need to make sure that as we face another difficult time we stay in touch and support each other.”

Taster events have been organised for Friendship Month to help newcomers feel at ease and give people the opportunity to experience the supportive benefits of joining a friendship group.

Drop-in afternoon teas will be held at Harbour Lights Café in Littlehampton on September 12 at 2pm and at The Beach Deck in Eastbourne on September 16 at 2pm.

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A drop-in for a drink or lunch will be held at The Cliftonville Inn in Hove on September 26 from midday.

Lynne said: "Nobody should be without company if they want it. If you’re finding it difficult to socialise in later life, or you’d like to build or extend your friendship circle, groups such as ours are a great way to meet like-minded people locally. We’d love to see you.”

Oddfellows membership costs from £25 a year. In addition to regular social events, branch members can access financial benefits and welfare support, with a dedicated care helpline and citizens advice team, and a travel club.

To register an interest in a taster event and a free local events pack, contact Michael or Janet Porter on 01903 504492 or email [email protected].

Visit for more information and a competition to win one of two Champagne afternoon tea gift boxes.

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