The importance of friendship in helping us lead happier and healthier lives was celebrated at an event organised in Farnham by members of the Oddfellows Friendly Society, as part of the organisation’s nationwide Friendship Month.
People attending the event, which was held at the Mercure Farnham Bush Hotel, enjoyed a selection of finger sandwiches with a variety of teas, as well as a raffle which raised money for the Arthritis Matters and Fibromyalgia Support Group charities.
“It was a great success; our members were able to catch up over tea and cakes and we were joined by a couple of people who hadn’t been to one of our events before, so everyone made them very welcome,” said Jane Nicole, Branch Secretary of the local Concord Branch of the Oddfellows, which organised the event.
“We had a fantastic spread of ages, from nine months to 92 years old, and it was great to see people of all ages enjoying themselves together.”
The event, on September 24, was held as part of the Oddfellows’ Friendship Month campaign, which ran nationally throughout September as a way of bringing communities closer together by hosting a variety of fun events all over the UK.
More than nine million people of all ages in the UK say they are lonely either often or always, according to research by The Co-Op and the Red Cross. The Oddfellows believe that friendship is the answer, helping people lead happier and healthier lives with the support of friends around them.
Research published by Michigan State University in June found cultivating good-quality friendships is beneficial in raising self-esteem and buffering against stress. The study found that people with supportive friends reported lower rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Joining the Oddfellows is a great way to make new friends. The Concord branch holds an informal ‘Together for Tea’ event in the café at High Cross Church, Camberley, between 2-4pm on the fourth Friday of each month. The branch is also interested in organising regular meetings in the Farnham area, if you would be interested please contact either Branch Secretary Jane Nicole on 01276 66868 or Branch Development & Events Organiser, Kristen Reid at [email protected].
The branch will also be holding a pub quiz at the Ely Hotel in London Road, Blackwater, Camberley, at 7pm on Wednesday, November 1. Anyone interested in attending should contact Kristen Reid using the email address above.