New Harleston social group formed to tackle low self-confidence

Laura Chatten-Stow has set up the Harleston Area Friendship Circle, a new group which aims to provide a safe social setting for lonely people in the area. 

Pictured: Laura with the Apiary Cafe owner Mike Chappell. At the back: Hayley Bell, Sylvia Reeve and Nathalie Lewis ANL-160604-182905009
Laura Chatten-Stow has set up the Harleston Area Friendship Circle, a new group which aims to provide a safe social setting for lonely people in the area. Pictured: Laura with the Apiary Cafe owner Mike Chappell. At the back: Hayley Bell, Sylvia Reeve and Nathalie Lewis ANL-160604-182905009

The founder of a new social group in Harleston says she is keen to help lonely or single people rediscover their self-confidence, as she calls for new members to join in.

The Harleston And Area Friendship Circle, which launched on Facebook last month, was established with the aim of helping people who are on their own, such as single parents or those who have recently moved to the area, to organise social events or gatherings locally.

Laura Chatten-Stow, a full-time teacher and the creator of the group, explained she had been inspired by the plight of a family member, whom she said had been dealing with the ‘vicious cycle’ of low confidence experienced by many.

“I think perhaps something that people don’t really talk about are the problems of finding yourself on your own,” she told the Diss Express.

“I think that’s an issue that is quite big that kind of goes under the radar.

“I have heard people say this is a really good idea. They say they have just come to the area and they don’t know anyone, or they’re a single mum and didn’t know how to meet people.”

Ms Chatten-Stow is already collaborating with The Apiary Café, located in The Thoroughfare, to host a social meet-up for group members once a month, but she says they must first drum up more interest from new members before this can take place.

She is also encouraging partnerships with other businesses and organisations to organise future events and outings, in the hope of ‘getting people communicating’.

She added: “In an ideal world, I want people to be able to say they want to go to dinner and say ‘will someone come with me?’”

“I don’t want to limit it to anybody. I want it to be something they can use if they don’t know anyone or if they have lost their confidence.

“If anyone wants to get on board with their ideas, I think it could be a really nice community venture.”

To find out more about the group, search ‘Harleston And Area Friendship Circle’ on Facebook.