News News Delving into book club As part of our community development work, we support thousands of people every day across Scotland. We aim to tackle loneliness and isolation in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities by offering guidance and paths to friendships, day to-day support, new skills, increased confidence, alongside much more. Did you know? Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Covid-19 has created further challenges that have led to more people feeling lonely. During that first month of the pandemic, the equivalent of 4 million people said their well-being was affected through feeling lonely. The British Red Cross, through commissioned polling, found that out of 2002 British adults, 53% agreed that a reduction in social contact during the first lockdown was making life harder. 38% of the same group also said that loneliness was negatively impacting their mental health. We’ve been exploring the subject of loneliness at our book group, whose participants come from all across Scotland. Here are some of the books that caught our attention*. *please note that some of these titles are for adult audiences only. The Martian by Andy Weir Mark Watney is a dead man walking. As a member of the Ares 3 Mars mission, he landed with five crewmates for an assignment meant to be a month long. Then the storm came, and the crew was forced to evacuate. Watney, presumed dead by the rest of his team, was left behind. Watney has no way of telling Earth that he’s alive. On Earth, friends and strangers alike grieve for a fallen hero; while alone on an alien planet where even the smallest mistake means certain death, the man they mourn struggles to survive. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Frankenstein tells the story of gifted scientist Victor Frankenstein who succeeds in giving life to a being of his own creation. However, this is not the perfect specimen he imagines it would be, but rather a hideous creature. The creature explores what it is to be alive, whilst also being rejected by his creator and society. He wants a soul mate made in his likeness so that he no longer has to exist alone. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become his mentors. Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie's dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie's inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox, and a wise horse who find themselves together, in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love. Help us in our fight against loneliness and isolation by donating today.