South Shields ladies group set up to combat loneliness welcoming new members
Chilln N Spilln was founded by Angela Reay in February of this year.
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A ladies walking group based in South Shields, is welcoming new members who may be feeling alone.
The group, which is named Chilln N Spilln, was founded by Angela Reay following her own mental health struggle.
Angela was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of last year, and after fifteen days in a row of treatment, she was left feeling isolated and lonely. Angela said: “I felt really lost, and really alone, even though I had a good support network around me.”
She continued: “I was angry, tearful and my anxiety was through the roof. My confidence took a massive knock and I didn’t feel like me anymore.”
Angela reached out to Macmillan Cancer Support, who provided her with counselling sessions with Bupa. Angela explained: “It was the best thing I’ve ever done, absolutely brilliant. They made me realise that it’s ok to feel like this after something big had happened.”
In February of this year, Angela decided to set up Chilln N Spilln, as a way for women in the region who may be feeling isolated to connect with other like-minded people.
“I thought, how many other people are there like me? Sitting feeling miserable and alone, not just from cancer, but in general.”
She created a page on Facebook, to invite women in the region to join her in walking along South Shields seafront, to chat about their problems and make friends.
The first day of the group had nine members show up, and since then the group has grown to around 20 women, who meet two days a week.
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Angela said: “We chat about anything at all. From work worries to money problems.”
“The difference in the women from when they started to where they are now is absolutely amazing,” she explained.
However, Angela is hoping the group will continue to grow to help other women combat loneliness, and give them a safe space to come and chat. “The bigger the group is, the better because it’s getting more awareness out there,” she explained.
There is no particular age range, as Angela explains the oldest member of the group is 67 and the youngest is 18.
Angela was nominated for a #LoveSouthTyneside2023 awards earlier this year, in the Heart of the Community category. Angela said of being nominated: “I was really overwhelmed, something I wasn’t expecting at all but it was lovely.”
Chilln N Spilln meet up on Thursdays at 6.15pm and Sundays at 11am at South Marine Park. To join the group, please get in touch via their Facebook page.