National Friendship Day 2022

The power of friendships is huge!  Having a close circle of friends can be so important. According to an article published by National Today, 22% of people live longer if they have a close network of friends. In addition to this, a person is 7 times more likely to be productive at work if they have a close friend working alongside them. The theme for World Friendship Day this year is sharing the human spirit through friendship.

Whilst everyone everywhere has had some tough moments to experience over recent times, the spirit of togetherness and community spirit has shone through all of this. At Enrych, we have been delighted to see people out in the community, making memories with the people they have met at our events. We empower people who face day to day challenges presented by disabilities and poor mental health to live a life of independence and full social inclusion.

It is through these events that I met a group of like-minded individuals who I love to spend my time with. I also see these people outside of scheduled Enrych events as well which further builds the trust and camaraderie so important in friendships across the wider world. I will never forget what Enrych has done for me in a social context. They have helped to massively boost my confidence to make long lasting friendships as well as enhance my level of social interaction with people at work.

Having recently done a speech about how Dyspraxia and Autism affect my life,  the positive feedback I got about this gave me a warm feeling inside.    Enrych is an organisation which put s effort into understanding the lives of the people whom we support as well as the team making it all happen. I feel like I have made friends in both contexts at Enrych. I feel much more confident to share what is going on in my life, and I feel we can work together to achieve amazing things.

These are all components of friendships which matter. The passion is also greater too, especially because of the things we strive to achieve at Enrych. When the passion exists to make sustainable changes to the lives of people who have found the world around them less accessible, it makes everything that bit easier. There’s a song about this- it’s called “(We Want) The Same Thing”, by Belinda Carlisle. The lyrics to this song couldn’t possibly resonate more, particularly on World Friendship Day.

One of the key things that makes a friendship work, is when people are their whole authentic self and this is something that other people celebrate. It should go without saying really. Whether someone has a disability or poor mental health, this should not be a red flag to people. Instead, showing warmth and being a good listener would help someone to feel like they can be their true selves. At a younger age, I felt like I had to fit certain criteria in order to be classed as a friend. I felt I had to be like other people, to be “cool” or “fashionable”. At this point, I have found my own world to exist in and have found people who I can relate to who probably felt like I did at a younger age too.

What Enrych do more than anything, is help to bridge those gaps in social interaction. This is achieved in a variety of ways, from community events for our clients to webinars for our office team. Whatever we do, we do it to help as many people as possible to consider themselves as friends and to build on this. Happy World Friendship Day – let’s celebrate the power of friendships!

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