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Marple’s Community Connector starts new Friendship Group

Mark Emery, Marple's first Community Connector

Mark Emery is Marple’s first Community Connector. A warm, softly spoken man who is very enthusiastic about his new role in Marple. He is a trained counsellor and has many years of experience in social care.  This job is part of the new Target Prevention Alliance offered by Stockport Council and Mark is based at the Council Offices in Marple Memorial Park.

“The main objective of TPA is to make people in the community receive support and advice to prevent long term problems and maintain independent living. One of the problems people face is loneliness and isolation. I am busy meeting people and putting them in touch with the appropriate services. I recently met a gentleman who was extremely lonely but was very talented. His confidence was low and he was becoming isolated. After meeting him and discovering his interest in art and crafts I introduced him to a club, six months later he is flourishing and delivering art classes. I am also reminded of two gentlemen living alone on the same road, I introduced them and they are now great friends. We live in a world now where people don’t know each other and my role is to bridge those gaps, connect people to services and each other.”

Another part of Mark’s role is to interview volunteers. As he said, “There are many excellent groups in Marple but one of the gaps I have noticed is one for friendship”. To address this Mark has just set up ‘Rosie’s Friendship Group’ which meet on Monday mornings 10-12noon at Queen’s Court, Church Street, Marple. The group is free and open to anyone - have a cup of tea and make friends and put your ideas forward about how you would like the group to develop. Mark’s philosophy is that everyone has talents and it is giving people the opportunity to develop them that gives confidence. Mark is really interested in people contributing their ideas and if you would like to attend the group or become a volunteer then contact Mark at mark.emery@stockporthomes.org