On a mission to help out Wigan's lonely

Chris Hatton-Fahey is on a mission to tackle loneliness
Chris Hatton-Fahey is on a mission to tackle loneliness

A Wigan pensioner is on a mission to help the borough’s loneliest people by setting up a club for them to have more company.

Chris Hatton-Fahey finds it awful that too many Wiganers are living in misery and often going days without interacting with another person.

The 73-year-old was motivated to combat the sad situation after seeing the constant solitude some people were living in through his career in legal services, which saw him visit pensioners to talk about their wills and affairs.

Chris said: “Loneliness is a horrible set of circumstances. I’m sure that if lonely people can have more contact with others, it would make their lives better.

“Most of them are older people - to think that they work all their lives just to end up in misery.

“I find it awful that people get into this situation in the last part of their lives. It’s not right, pensioners should be laughing and joking!”

The Shevington resident wants to set up a regular group for lonely people to meet up and wants those affected by loneliness to have input on what they would want from such a club.

“They are the ones who know what they’d want and how many times they’d like company,” Chris said.

The meet-ups would be open to anyone in the borough, and Chris is actively encouraging as many young people as possible to attend.

“It would be great to get younger people involved because they have more energy for it. It could help the elderly ones to speak to young people too,” said Chris.

“I am absolutely certain that somebody should come into their life and stop that loneliness, it’d be great. It must be horrible to not speak to anyone.”

Wigan Council also runs a scheme tailored to adults who need support due to disability, age or illness. Called Shared Lives, the service supports people to develop meaningful friendships that enable them to live life to the full in their local communities.

It can help them achieve goals such as going to college, develop travel skills and visit places outside of Wigan.

Those who need support are matched with volunteers acting as “Shared Lives Champions,” who are local people with shared interests, or simply someone that they get on well with.To find out more about Shared Lives, visit wigan.gov.uk.