Wiltshire Publications

Inclusive Facebook group helps combat loneliness

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WESTBURY woman, Bex Jones, has created an inclusive Facebook group, ‘Buddy Me’, to  help combat loneliness in Westbury and surrounding towns. 

The Facebook page was created by Bex in March this year after seeing multiple posts on Facebook’s ‘Spotted’ pages talking about loneliness and isolation. 

Now, the group has almost 1,000 members who organise events, share stories and make friends. 

Speaking to White Horse News Bex said, “I just wanted to do something about it! I started Buddy Me with the intention of getting around 30, maybe 50 members – but I achieved that in the first hour! It absolutely flew and now we sit at almost 1,000 members.  

“The idea is that people join the group, post an intro about themselves, their interests and hobbies, to find like-minded people. It started just in Westbury, Warminster and Trowbridge but has grown to Frome and Bradford on Avon too. 

“Everyone receives a really warm welcome when they make their first post. I say, it’s a group run by buddies, for buddies. It is a way of posting about meeting for coffee, to organise events such as book clubs, charity days or quiz nights or as a way of expressing frustrations or anxieties. It’s an online support network. 

“We are currently organising some big events. One of the buddies has a child in NICU, so a few members of the group are organising a ‘Buddies Light the Night’ walk to celebrate World Prematurity Day on Sunday 17th November. The topic has become close to the group’s heart. 

“Other buddies are also helping others by pulling on their own skills. We have a photographer who has offered free photoshoots to help with people’s confidence, a ghost hunter that has arranged a ghost hunt in an abandoned building, but we also arrange trips to the cinema, meals and bingo. 

“It really is amazing. Recently I received a message from one of the buddies’ daughter telling me just how much support the group has giving her mum.

“It’s great for those who have just moved to the area or if anyone has any mental health issues to overcome. People in the group come from a variety of backgrounds and vary in age. Our youngest member is 17 and our oldest is 80! It’s an inclusive, incredibly friendly group. 

“We are now also starting to introduce ‘Buddy Me’ badges so that people from the group are recognisable at events. These will be being distributed soon!”

If you are wanting to make new friends or you’re new to the area, search ‘Buddy Me’ on Facebook and become part of the growing community. 

Picture: Bex Jones with the new ‘Buddy Me’ badges. 

3 Responses to Inclusive Facebook group helps combat loneliness

  1. Helen neal

    November 9, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I’d love to help out

    Helen neal

  2. Amanda walsh

    November 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I think it’s a really lovely thing you are doing ,so many lonely people .

  3. Amanda walsh

    November 28, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Not sure what I’m suppose to put at the moment .