Veteran to set up mental health awareness and loneliness group

An informal group set up by an army veteran to bring people together after the isolation brought on by the pandemic and winter, will meet for the first time next month.

Ian Walterson, who served in the British Army for 22 years, being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered his own mental health issues and hopes bringing people together for a hot drink and a friendly chat will address the issue of loneliness he feels exist in Shetland.

Mr Walterson said: “I really want to try to bring people back out into the community after these unprecedented times.

“After a long dark winter and the two-year Covid pandemic, when we’ve not been able mix and socialise, and I’d hope that we can get folk together and help some people to feel better about themselves.”

The Sunshine Club will meet for the first time on Saturday, 2nd April, in the TA Hall at Fort Charlotte, Lerwick between 11am and 1pm with free tea, coffee and biscuits available.  All are welcome.

Mr Walterson added: “We talk a lot about the strength of the community in Shetland, but it’s been hard for everyone for the last couple of years.

“I’m sure there are many in Shetland who are keen to get out of the house and to meet and connect with other people.”


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