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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Six ‘Champions’ combatting loneliness across the Borough

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Six local residents have been recognised as ‘Loneliness Champions’

(Front row L-R) – Helen McClean Ageing Well Co-Ordinator, Marjorie Hawkins, Chairperson Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network, Rhonda Duddy Access Employment Larne; (Back row L-R) – Lisa Hickson, Galgorm Care Home, Sabrina Lynn, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Denise McClenaghan Northern Health and Social Care Trust.


Six local residents have been recognised as ‘Loneliness Champions’ in the Borough – helping prevent isolation and showcasing opportunities for people to engage with one another in their own area.


Chairperson of Mid and East Antrim’s Loneliness Network, Marjorie Hawkins, recently presented certificates to Denise McClenaghan, Sabrina Lynn, Lisa Hickson, Rhonda Duddy, Helen McClean and Denise McVeigh for all their hard work and dedication.



These vital champions have been using their knowledge, skillsand experience along with training to positively impact the lives of others in their local community to help reduce loneliness and isolation.


They join six others who were nominated as Loneliness Champions last year.


A ‘Loneliness Champion’ helps to reduce loneliness and isolation in their local area by:


• Developing and building relationships within the local community

• Raising awareness about loneliness and social isolation

• Helping to reduce the stigma of loneliness by talking and discussing loneliness openly

• Sharing information about relevant opportunities for people to engage

• Providing key information, advice, support and encouragement to colleagues within the voluntary, community and statutory sectors

• Promoting key initiatives within Mid and East Antrim including Chatty Benches, Chatty Cafes, Chatty Walks and the Kindness Post box.



Chairperson of Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network, Marjorie Hawkins, said:


“No-one should be lonely in Mid and East Antrim. We believe that loneliness is not inevitable - people of all ages need connections that matter.  Very sadly, the effects of loneliness can have significant long-lasting negative effects on people's health and wellbeing.


“I am delighted to recognise our six new ‘Loneliness Champions’ and look forward to many more people coming forward to be a catalyst for change in their local communities.



“We would love more champions to come on board! If you would like to join us please contact alison.kane@midandeastantrim.gov.uk and help us go the ‘extra mile’ in tackling loneliness.”


Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network launched in December 2019 and is made up of a range of community, voluntary and statutory organisations who all work together to prevent and address loneliness.


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