- a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
But I think it’s a lot more than the sum of its parts. Conversation is the glue, and the oil, of society. It keeps things functioning and working efficiently. Without conversation, there is a breakdown of ideas, productivity, and ultimately, social cohesion. It’s also an extremely important part of our mental health.
I’ve written before about being socially isolated, and how even our technological prowess with things like ‘face time’ can only slow down a thirst for human contact. Sitting in front of a screen will never replace being in someone’s company. I recently visited Dorset (for the first time, might I add!) to meet the team at First Point Dorset, or DIPS for short.
It was the first time I got to meet the team, because ‘lockdown’, and it was great. I’m sure many people working have used the line ‘nice to meet you in person, finally!’ and probably also ‘nice to virtually meet you’. The difference meeting a colleague makes in working together is immeasurable. Sure, you can get things done via email, and via whatever platform for virtual chatting is out there. But from what I have heard, and experienced, you go through more of a checklist of things to do when you haven’t met someone.
Humans are a socially inclined species, so if we lose that, we can feel negative consequences. Our mental health can take a beating, which leads to physical issues. This is why our team in Dorset have weekly drop in sessions for people who might need social contact. It also helps that many in the team LOVE to chat, right Lucy!? So, what are these drop ins all about?
First Point Dorset Drop Ins
We act as a front door to support, in addition to traditional referral routes. Our friendly staff are happy to help you with:
- guidance or support on housing issues
- maximising income
- daily living
- health & wellbeing
- connecting with the local community
That last bullet point ‘connecting with the local community’ is so important. If you are living alone it’s very easy to become socially isolated. Which is why I encourage anyone who is feeling lonely to make use of our free services. We can help signpost you to services that will benefit you. For example Age UK, Help and Kindness and Volunteer Centre Dorset.
Drop in times and locations*
*please note you need to book ahead
Hope Projects Units 4-6, Plot 25c Longmead Industrial Estate SP7 8PL 13:30 – 15:30
Pavilion in the Park Community Café The Great Field St Johns Way Poundbury DT1 2FG 09.30 – 11.30
Blandford Food Bank +Faithworks United Reformed Church, Whitecliff Mill St, Blandford Forum DT11 7DQ 10.00 – 12.00
The Veterans Hub Community Café 114A Portland Road Wyke Regis DT4 9AD 10.00 – 14:00
Leigh Park Community Centre Gordon Road, Wimborne BH21 2AP 10:00 – 12:00
Cupboard Love St Mary’s Church, South St DT6 3NW 11:00 – 13:00
Weymouth Information Centre 98 St. Mary Street, Weymouth, DT4 8NY