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When you need a RL friend

(131 Posts)

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.

Inspired by another thread where a very lovely sounding MN is going through a break up. One of the things that was really against her finding the strength she needed, was a lack of RL support.

If you have no local family and you and a partner have become 'self sufficient' - "we have each other and therefore don't need friends" it can be extra hard to follow through when you break up. You have lost your partner, your best friend but also your ONLY friend.

I can see that you would feel awkward getting in touch with old friends in your 'hour of need' if you haven't spoken to them for a while, and sometimes talking to a professional isn't enough - you need wine/coffee/tears and hugs.

I know that the Mumsnet Local boards can sometimes feel a bit quichey (mine does - I am sure they are all lovely but it does feel like an 'established group'). Also they feel like they are places for 'fun' and not tears. And if you are going through a breakup it can be hard to bring yourself to 'join a gym' 'start a course' and even then friendships take a while to establish.

The thread I referred to earlier has (again) shown the wonder of Mumsnet with a few people local to OP getting in touch to arrange coffees and stuff. I am sure this will be a great support to her. Time and time again, I have read posts where people just don't have anyone in RL to talk to and I was wondering whether something can be done?

I know if ANYONE local to me was having a hard time and wanted someone in RL to chat to, (whether going through relationship trauma or not) I'd be glad to meet for a coffee and I know I'm not alone.

I know that historically, people on the specific thread might be the ones to offer to meet the OP if they are local, but I think it unlikely that someone would start a thread just to say "everything has gone to shit and I just want someone in RL to talk to, any volunteers in Camrbidge?"

But often that is exactly what it comes down to.

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try to establish some kind of place for people who are lacking RL support to reach out to other MNers for RL friendship/support or is this something that should naturally evolve and be offered if felt appropriate on a thread?

I'm honestly not sure, but I am heartbroken by hpw many people are feeling lonely and alone. sad

mamaintears Mon 12-Mar-12 14:01:11

I think its a great idea, it would appear there are numerous 'friendless' bodies out there which is really sad, surely everyone has room in their lives for 'one more' friend? I also think its a good idea from the prospective of when perehaps you just dont want to offload your problems 'yet again' to you old and trusted friends for fear they will tire of you IYSWIM.

OMGImStillHere Mon 12-Mar-12 16:43:19

Good point, sometimes you can't tell everything to people already in your life.

You are a love and that is a great idea.

I'd do it if someone needed support close by.

destinyorfate Mon 12-Mar-12 16:51:03

I think it is a brilliant idea.

I have talked to my family (who are not close by) but they get upset on my behalf and I feel so bad ringing up just to sob down the phone sad It is easier to talk to someone who isnt emotionally involved.

And I would also be more than happy to offer my support to anybody who needed a chat and a coffee because I know exactly how that feels.

Great idea, well put mamaintears everyone has room for another friend

lesterlassone Mon 12-Mar-12 17:15:46

That's a really nice posting SJ and I know that a couple of years back, whilst going through a very dark time, I would have welcomed just such a MN "friend".

I knew I wouldn't be the only person who felt this way.

It wouldn't have to be a commitment - just a coffee, laugh and cry can be a lifeline to a boat that feels its sinking.

Do you think that there are more like us?

<looks around hopefully>

Misssss Mon 12-Mar-12 17:49:19

Brilliant idea - a non judgy/connected/involved friend is what most people need in traumatic times. I too would be more than happy to support people in need of a friend.

And yes, they are very valid points about feeling you can't possibly go crying to your friend/mum/other (if you do have one) about the fact that he has 'cheated again'.

That's a really nice idea! I'd be happy to do it if someone near me needed a chat over coffee.

What a lovely thread!

I too feel a bit intimidated by the thought of 'meet-ups' with lots of younger mums with younger children who probably would see me as a bit of an old caah.

When I first joined mn, on the feminist board someone was trying to start up a group in my area. I responded twice - nothing. I pm'd - nothing. I got a bit paranoid after that!

Anyway. I'm up for it smile

Misssss Mon 12-Mar-12 18:13:27

It is lovely. I don't actually have children but I like mumsnet a lot, so I don't feel I can go to a meetup. My local board is really quiet too which is bizzare because I live in a big city.

fuzzpig Mon 12-Mar-12 18:14:25

I would love that. Either way I struggle to make friends and would love to make more. It's a great idea.

However when it came to the shoulder to cry on thing, I just couldn't do it - So hard to open up to anyone sad

What a great idea! I really feel I have room for another friend, I have lots of people to have nights out with but have no-one to chat to. The local group threads for my area do not generate much traffic at all sad

Mama1980 Mon 12-Mar-12 18:23:48

This is a great idea smile I would definitely be up for a meeting if someone needed it. I know I would love a lifeline sometimes, I lived abroad for many years so most of my good friends are abroad a hug would be great somedays

It would help if more people had profiles where they can give a rough idea of where they're based...just a thought.

For example, it looks like Theresa might even be as old as me and live fairly close...

<stalker emoticon> grin

BeerTricksPott3r Mon 12-Mar-12 18:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricks - yes that crossed my mind. I do think it's a concern but I suppose like internet dating, you would arrange to meet in a public place and see how things went. If 'Lovelypersonfromyourarea' then turned out to be a hairy trucker, you could finish your latte and leave!

I'm not trying to start a revolution or anything (wishful thinking emoticon) but I am saddened by how many people (particularly in the relationship boards) just don't have 'a person' other than their partner. And the minute that goes tits up, they are left with nobody and no confidence.

MN is so very massive that maths dictates that there is bound to be someone vaguely lovely in your area who would be up for a more low key meet up if you find yourself feeling lost/alone/in need.

I don't know how the actual practicalities would work - it's not the same as MN Local, more a 'Need a non-judgy instant friend now?' board where you could literally post "Yes please - Penzance" or whatever.

As I said in my OP, I don't know if this is the right place to start but I thought I would try posting here first as relationships tends to be somewhere I lurk and I've come across the feelings of loneliness alot here. I'm interested to see if MN are really as lovely as they sound and would be prepared to take a chance on a a new 'friend in need'.

I think and hope they are.

If enough people say they would, I might link it to MNHQ to see what they think.

But I may be barking up the wrong tree. People are busy, cautious, I don't know....

SaltResistantSlug Mon 12-Mar-12 21:16:32

I'm up for it. And OP, did you pick Cambridge at random? I'm near there.

tallwivglasses I'm definitely not a young mum with small children - in fact I usually feel an old caah too smile I'm old enough to have gone on student demos during the miners strike, so that probably gives you an idea of my vintage.

MitchieInge Mon 12-Mar-12 21:48:44

Am old too and also up for it. Hate the thought of anyone feeling isolated, love meeting people.

Derpy Mon 12-Mar-12 21:50:53

When MNHQ started a sticky about improving MN Local, various people made suggestions about having a separate "local" username, so your anonymity across the rest of the board would be preserved. You would not want to make public where you lived. I think that would be essential.

Apart from that, it's a lovely thought and a nice thread to see.

I agree about security concerns, there are some very 'odd' people out there angry But, I've met online people in RL before and there are measures you can take to protect yourself like: meeting in a very public place, letting someone know you're going, arranging for someone to meet or ring you after a set time. SlightlyJaded mentioned internet dating, and really the practicalities would be similar.

Plus, anyone who did meet up could let other MNers know.

Derpy Mon 12-Mar-12 21:54:08

I think too there would need to be some understanding about not divulging the MN usernames of people you met. I don't know if that would be possible though; I'm not confident people would understand the importance of it.

BeerTricksPott3r Mon 12-Mar-12 22:04:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whyme2 Mon 12-Mar-12 22:04:45

I think it is a really good idea. It is hard reading threads where people have no one in RL to turn too. Feel like that myself sometimes too.

I am stuck for ideas as to how it would work though. sorry blush

Derpy Mon 12-Mar-12 22:13:00

I think the idea fits well with developing MN Local. If people are going to use their local bit, they are going to be meeting other MN users. So there will need to be some kind of safeguarding going on. From my point of view, if I were to use MN Local, I would never divulge my non-local posting name; and I would stick to that ferociously to protect my dc. But as I say, I'm not sure others would grasp the importance of it.

I don't know if the OP's desire to help others falls into the category of being vulnerable to trolls. sad

BeerTricksPott3r Mon 12-Mar-12 22:17:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theresa I must be older. I was working - Donating a day's pay to the miners incurred such wrath from my H that he soon became my ExH!

BeerTricks a local drop in might work - but i suppose that would assume that there were people who were going to 'drop in' week in week out - otherwise MNer in need might 'drop in' to an empty room sad

I just don't know. I can see the reasons why MNers and MNHQ would be wary, and my MN anonymity is something I value and protect. But maybe the Local Name idea would encourage people? And to be honest, you would only be revealing yourself to the one person you had arranged to meet. I'd like to think that this is something that could become an extension of MN via the local boards perhaps - or even just a running "RL Friends Wanted/Offered" thread that people could come to if they felt alone and in need.

Maybe I should try posting the idea in chat or something with really high traffic to see what people think?

Again last night, I was reading threads where people just don't have anyone. To me and I find it shocking. But then, if I moved to a new area, didn't have any children (or children went to a school where socialising with mums wasn't really an option) it could easily be me in that boat.

I hate the thought of someone having nobody to give them a hug or share a coffee with. It's not right

Derpy Tue 13-Mar-12 14:33:36

TBH, though, it is probably more of a Netmums thing, isn't it?

Derpy, wash your mouth out! grin

Derpy - whilst I agree that the Hunz are more likely to 'do meetups', I would far rather have a MNer in my hour of need - if you are on MN it's because you are MNer at heart, innit? And would therefore probably appreciate a more kindred spirit.

But I take your point.

It's probably not workable as an actual 'thing' - too much against the masonic ID secrecy that goes hand in hand with MN, but maybe the running 'Friends Wanted/Offered' thread is the way to go?

sassy34264 Tue 13-Mar-12 14:55:01

i think its a great idea. im not young or old - stomping all over middle age i think!

what about just having a thread that people can put their nickname on and then a vague idea of where they are? for example

sassy34264- lancashire

and then people can just pm those close to them and make arrangements accordingly.

or is that a stupid idea?

<awaits lots of unforseen reasons why that wouldnt work>

Derpy Tue 13-Mar-12 15:24:02

I should think doing it by PM would be safer. And for that one thread, you could use a different username, so people wouldn't be able to track you to your area by your usual name.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 13-Mar-12 15:41:38

The basic idea sounds good. I don't have a problem with location as its on my profile anyhoo...
So, signing, up. PM me if you live around Stoke-on-Trent ish, and like to have coffee and cake.

sassy34264 Tue 13-Mar-12 16:24:45

i would have thought it would be good to be able to look up someone by their username under search and make sure they are genuine/ have a nosey at their viewpoints, see if you'd get on. etc.

im the same, it says im from lancs under my profile so im ok with it too. i guess if you're not ok you could choose to change your username.

sassy34264 Tue 13-Mar-12 16:24:48

i would have thought it would be good to be able to look up someone by their username under search and make sure they are genuine/ have a nosey at their viewpoints, see if you'd get on. etc.

im the same, it says im from lancs under my profile so im ok with it too. i guess if you're not ok you could choose to change your username.

nameuschangeus Tue 13-Mar-12 16:27:02

What an excellent idea. The thought that someone could be struggling needlessly is awful. Count me in.

springaroundthecorner Tue 13-Mar-12 17:33:48

Hi, just wanted to add that I think this is a really good idea. There have been some threads in the last few months where practical help would have been wonderful for the OP but no one on the threads were anywhere near by at all.

I am lucky that have lots of good RL friends and neighbours at the moment but this situation does fluctuate in everyones lives, through moving house, illness, or even just being too busy to make much of an effort.

I have a RL friend who is someone I met on line about 5 years ago. She is 10 years younger than me, lives a 3 hour drive away and has a completely different lifestyle but we have several interests in common and that's how we came to arrange to meet up and we have done that about every 6 months or so ever since pursuing our hobbies together. We met in a city centre at a cafe and it didnt at any point feel an unsafe thing to do. We were talking about this the other day and she was saying that she now has two RL friends who she has met through another friend who met them on line!! What I am working up to saying is dont be too afraid of how unsafe it might be. It can be great!

BibiBlocksberg Tue 13-Mar-12 21:54:55

...well, that serves me right for finishing the thread title with.....there's no one there...tough cheese.

Now I've clicked on it and seen what its really about I think its a really great idea!

Many is the time that I've thought that I'd love to offer someone from here some support and friendship even if that 'only' means a coffee (and big slice of cake)

Could do with widening my own circle of friends and acquaintences too, count me in.

issimma Tue 13-Mar-12 21:58:52

I'm in too grin.

I was wondering, could we have a list, like the one on locals...but that might be open to abuse.

if you had a 'local' namechange, how could the OP know you're safe?

Could someone at MNHQ help out? eg.

OP: I've got no-one in rl.
Mnetter: (gives great advice, then...) Try asking MN Connect (Link: coffee,cake and a friendly ear.)


OP sends request. Then local, signed-up vetted mnetters are pm'd, they can choose to reply or not.

I know it needs fine-tuning - I'm already thinking of worst-case scenarios <shudder> and its probably a not very lucrative path for MN in terms of advertising, but it could work.

The only other alternative is pm-ing someone you want to help and asking where they live. If you're near, you go for coffee and cake, if you're not, maybe you pm other mnetters you might know near her...or have a friend who knows a good group, organisation, whatever.

Facebook isn't always the work of the devil or is it?

BibiBlocksberg Tue 13-Mar-12 22:42:19

"The only other alternative is pm-ing someone you want to help and asking where they live"

I've thought of that before but I feel like I come across as some sort of pushy stalker smile

Not very helpful I know, will try to think of something constructive to add.

Oh I Know Bibi, me too. Are we being very British or something here?

HoudiniHissy Tue 13-Mar-12 23:01:41

Gorgeous thread. I'm in too!

BibiBlocksberg Tue 13-Mar-12 23:11:46

grin tall (damn predictive thing won't let me spell your whole user name)

I was thinking that exact same thing as soon as I'd voiced the thought.

Then I congratulated myself on my infiltration into British society (german originally) smile

UhOhJo Tue 13-Mar-12 23:33:11

This is a brilliant idea.

Though I'm afraid I'm saying that because I'm exactly the sort of thing I need. Am I the first here to confess that?

We moved to a new area where I work at home, have a partner who works away, and I rely on him far too much and we're going through major difficulties and row endlessly. I'm sat here right now waiting for dp to call like a needy berk (he probably won't) and I haven't spoken to anyone in RL since he left on Sunday (aside from childminder at handover) and won't until Friday.

When you're feeling low it's really hard to get motivated to go join a group full of happy mum strangers. I've been to toddler groups and made small talk but yeah, it's just hard. I would also be willing to meet other MNers going through tough times for a coffee and chat.

Bibi, welcome to British up-your-arse-ishness - although some I know would limit that to English and they'd probably be right (I'm English!)

I've not met many Germans but really liked the ones I have (found them nicely brilliant and weird...but not making generalisations, it'll be a coincidence thing I'm sure)

UjOhJo (love your nn) - This is exactly what SlightlyJaded was talking about I think - shit, I wish I was close to where you are...but a cool mnetter will be, there's loads of us so it's more or less guarunteed (or however you spell that bloody word)

SJ [flowers] xxx





AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 00:22:21

What about a long standing "sticky" In OffTheBeatenTrack ?

Anybody looking for a bit of RL coffee-supping, cake-scoffing and handholding could post on there with their approx location.

Then the ones that are up for it, could take the initiative by sending a pm

That way, nobody is put under pressure to respond. The only downside would be if very upset posters didn't get any replies, but I guess they would have to understand there might not be local people actually around at the time

Can anybody see something to work with here ?

Yeah. Of course. That place is so obscure we all forget about it smile

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 00:44:34

SJ why don't you start a thread in SiteStuff tomorrow and see what HQ say

they are the experts, after all

Yep, I think a running thread is the way to go - I would hate it to feel like an obligation or anything. What would make me really happy is if we could have a running, sticky, thread that people could point others to:

"why you don't you post on the "Friends Offered/Wanted" thread? You can find it at OTBT" or whatever

AF, is the best thing to link to this thread in 'site stuff' and see what HQ come back with?

Thanks all you lovely MNers. It's reassuring to no that there are so many nice vipers grin

Any suggestions for thread title? I can't get beyond 'Friends Offered/Wanted' - pithy but to the point, but I am sure that there are other, better ideas.

UhOh Maybe you could be our first poster? smile

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:20:29

yes, I think that's a good idea, SJ, HQ may be able to suggest a better idea or modification

will have a think about a title, or ask HQ to suggest one

Fishandjam Wed 14-Mar-12 10:27:11

I'd do it. Feeling alone, when you need someone, is awful.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:31:12

I definitely think it needs to come from people asking, rather than people offering indiscriminately IYSWIM

what I mean is, there may be situations you may not feel able or even want to help with, or stuff that triggers problems of your own

so the ability to choose, without pressure, who you offer that coffee'ncake too has to be freely given

hope that makes sense

Yes, the onus should be on the 'asker' - but I would like to think that people on a thread would point them towards asking. I think people are embarrassed to admit they have nobody and I would hate their to be any 'shame' in asking for an 'instant friend' in your hour of need.

Have posted a link to this thread on site stuff

We'll see what they come back with.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:45:27

thanks, SJ

oh yes, people should be pointed in the right direction, absolutely

flossiebella Wed 14-Mar-12 10:55:28

I would also do it. I've just moved back to the south west after 5 years oop north & so am rather desperate for adult company! Mumsnet local doesn't seem to cover my area....

Flossie - good to have more support.

The thing about MN Local is that it tends to be big jolly meetups at dates agreed en masse

When actually a lot of people want 'low key coffee' with someone they feel that they can really confide in despite never having met before.

That's what I want to try to achieve.

MistyMountainHop Wed 14-Mar-12 11:07:06

i think its a brilliant idea OP

Looks like this could be the start of something amazing SJ smile

Well done SJ - I'm in too (although I work full time and can offer relatively limited support but will do my best)

Brian that's lovely - thank you.

The thing is, I'm not suggesting any kind of commitment or 'dedication to the cause'.

I just wondered how many people would be prepared to give up half an hour to have a coffee with someone local, who had literally nobody else to talk to. If a friendship then evolved, great. If it didn't, you have still listened to someone for half an hour.

The chances of someone 'in need' being local to you on a regular basis, are fairly slim, so I don't think it would need to worry about how much time you could offer.

You wouldn't be expected to be a 'long term volunteer'. The thread would be there for all to browse and if you spotted someone in your area, and felt you had the time, you could make contact - that's all.

And the ideal scenario, is two friendless people in the same area finding each other.

I just keep coming back to the same thing. Nobody should feel alone.

Thank you thank you for all the support. I really hope we can get something up and running.

garlicbutter Wed 14-Mar-12 12:14:07

What a beautiful idea smile

Has anyone requested a sticky OTBT thread? When it's up, I can add myself and bookmark it for reference to other posters.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 12:16:20

garlic, there is a request in site stuff for just such a thing

Kennyp Wed 14-Mar-12 12:18:08

This sounds like a brilliant idea. I am keen!! And in the south east.

The link to the request in site stuff is here:

Please feel free to add your support to the idea there (even if you've already added your support here)

Thanks thanks

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 16:56:52

I think it is good I personally suffer ill mental health and I am isolated as a result my family are not supportive so dont actually know I have alot of ill health and if they see it they kind of ignore and pretend it doesnt exist and most friends dont stick around when I become unwell as they didnt sign up for that. I have no friends and I am scared to talk to anyone new about it because of the stigma so I think its a great idea.

Crawling. sad That's exactly the reason I'd like to try and get a running thread - so that people who feel as you do, can post.

Would you mind taking a minute to show your support of the idea over at site stuff? I'd like to think that if it gets up and running, you would post on the board and benefit from it smile

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:03:26

I have already done it smile.

I just saw, thank you smile

In the meantime, Crawling - where are you based?

AlmaMartyr Wed 14-Mar-12 17:05:24

Lovely idea, I've been very lonely the last few years (better now) and had times when I would have bitten someone's hand off for just a little bit of company. I would love to offer this to anyone in my area.

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:05:37

I am in South Wales.

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:17:24

But at the moment I dont drive (starting lessons again soon but I have had 30) so would probably be better off waiting till I can drive and get around before I do any meet ups smile.

I would definitely be happy to be someone's friend, if they needed me. Having moved from the South east of England, to Scotland, near Paisley, I know how it feels to be lonely - all three dses were too old to need me at the school gates, and so I found it really hard to make new friends. It has been a slow process, but I am getting there.

I'd like to think that if someone was in a similar position, or just if they needed a friendly ear/shoulder, that I'd be able to help.

Alma and SDY thanks for your support - would you mind seconding the idea at site stuff?

thank you smile

Crawling going to pick up DD now, will be back later. And maybe we can do our first 'south wales' shout smile

ViviPru Wed 14-Mar-12 20:01:53

Found this linked from AIBU.

Its a great idea OP. And it doesn't just have to be about times of dire need as such, it might be that you just fancy someone to talk to in person about about the grinding frustration of WTTC when all your friends are either up to their ears in PFB or allergic to babies and you could just SCREAM!!!!!! Sorry - went off on a tangent there....

I think the language used is key, so as not to be off putting or make people feel embarrassed. I like tallwivglasses idea of a MNconnect, coffee, cake and a friendly ear, all starting with a PM and the understanding that while you can take it whatever direction you like afterward, the premise is that in the first instance it is just that, a coffee and a chat.

AFs suggestion makes a lot of sense, I think it would be good to have a sticky that everyone is aware of that you can link to. I agree Off the Beaten Track might be a good place, but my concern is it will only be used by those asking for support, how often will the average MNtter stumble across it and think 'Oh, I'm in Suchandsuchshire, I'll PM that lonely sounding person.' Should it be somewhere with higher traffic? Chat? Or would that put people off posting a request? I don't know.

As for the associated risks, I think we all just have to be adult and sensible about it. Most people are au fait with the etiquette of meeting up with strangers from the internet and there can be some guidelines on the sticky. I think the potential for it to be abused is far outweighed by the benefits it could bring.

I'm off to lend my support on the site stuff thread smile

Great idea. I relocated a few years ago and it has taken years to make friends, even now I struggle. I could have done with a friendly ear, or someone to rant to, and still could sometimes. I'd be happy with a coffee and a chat, no judgement. Count me in for South Brumingham.

Crawling hopefully the birth of the sticky-thread will coincide with you passing your driving test smile

Thanks Vivi and agree with pretty much your whole post.

I don't know where it should 'live' either - I am going to trust the judgement of MNHQ or some other more knowledgeable MNer on that.

Nagoo Wed 14-Mar-12 20:57:45


Subject to usual internet precautions I think it is a nice idea smile

Mainly because it involves cake smile

HepHep Wed 14-Mar-12 21:06:35

I think this is a fab idea. At the moment I could really do with some support but am happy to offer support too when I'm less fucked grin.

MadameMessy Wed 14-Mar-12 21:13:57

I'm actually a bit teary reading this. its really resounding with me-apart from dp and the girls who I went to school with who I go out for drinks with 3 or 4 times a year, I have no one. no one to talk to or text or pop into. day to day its fine but when dp and I had a serious crisis I couldn't whine to my mum about it. I wish I could have met someone to just talk to,but not necessarily have to talk ever again, maybe out of embarrassment for not taking advice to leave the bastard?
bit rambling there, but great idea. real shame I'm in Ireland sad

Divorcedand2teenDDs Wed 14-Mar-12 21:17:06

Great idea. Lovely of you to think of it.


thank you smile

Please would you add your names to the request I've made in site stuff (if you haven't already)?

Madame sad I am sure there are loads on MNers in Ireland.

SEE MNHQ this is why we need this thread.

MadameMessy, there's mnetters in Ireland I know cos they tend to mention it smile

I'm pretty sure that if an OP said 'I've got no-one to talk to in rl, someone's ears would prick up and suggest the sticky cake thread.

MadameMessy Wed 14-Mar-12 21:37:15

oh no I know there are some here we are a gobby lot just wouldn't be as easy to organise a spontaneous meet up.
all the Irish forums seem to be all quichey, I'm a bit more shouty!

amillionyears Thu 15-Mar-12 09:55:05

Lovely idea. Count me in.

thanks amillion smile

Would you mind adding your support at the site stuff thread? THis is the one MNHQ are watching to see if it's a popular idea...


JaneB1rkin Thu 15-Mar-12 10:46:27

It is a good idea in theory, just the crossover into RL as always has to be handled with caution.

MN coffee mornings might be a goer.

HoudiniHissy Thu 15-Mar-12 11:04:40

Bumping SJ's thread.... it's a FAB idea!

you can count me in as a friendly face for coffee and chat.

Hullygully Thu 15-Mar-12 11:09:34

good idea

thank you, thank you thanks

Please will you add your names to support the idea at site stuff?

Ah sorry Hully, you were already en route... blush

shadowland Thu 15-Mar-12 11:14:48

I am interested and reassured to read that there are older members reading this. I think that we are all at different stages (and ages) and so our friendship groups can often change accordingly. Add to that when people relocate either locally or to further afield, it can be hard (from person experience) to start up with new friends who have often known each other for years.
There is a thread about feeling left out as others arrange social gatherings and some responses that suggest we are proactive in organizing events. And for some outgoing people I think that can work, but for others, just an informal cup of tea and a chat with a few, or even one, person is far less threatening....and hugely appreciated. I fall into that category.

Hullygully Thu 15-Mar-12 11:17:38

No worries, slightly.

I am VERY old

MightyNice Thu 15-Mar-12 11:45:55

I'm extremely old.

I'm not really, I just look it. Am abseiling down the other side of 40 though.

PeppermintPasty Thu 15-Mar-12 11:46:07

Done it back to front.

Been to sticky bit, now back here to say good idea.

WipsGlitter Fri 16-Mar-12 08:45:44

Hmmmmm. I'm not sure this is a good idea, but I may have misunderst

WipsGlitter Fri 16-Mar-12 08:53:55

Sorry. Small fingers helping me.

Anyway, I may have misunderstood how this works but is the idea that someone posts asking for support and a mumsnetter volunteers to help? The problem is there is no "quality control" over who is providing the support and advice or help they give could be more damaging or harmful, may be inaccurate or driven by a personal agenda. So a vulnerable person may be placed in a situation that gives them more stress. Or someone who fancies themselves as a counsellor might see this as a patient/counsellor type relationship.

I think if MN could oomphf up the local boards and encourage more group meet ups then this may happen more organically.

RL befriending services have extensive training, policies and guidelines for what they do for a reason.

Sorry to be a negative voice, but MNHQ should really consider the implications of this before promoting it further.

Sarahplane Fri 16-Mar-12 08:56:57

That's a brilliant idea. I would.

inatrance Fri 16-Mar-12 09:26:48

What a brilliant idea, count me in! smile

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 16-Mar-12 10:03:51

I think this is a great idea and would willingly take part...

Wips have responded to you on the site stuff thread smile

thegreylady Fri 16-Mar-12 17:24:22

I would love to do it.I would also gladly babysit [am ret teacher and gran of 9] but its hard to know what is needed.The only time I made an offer on here the op turned out to be a troll sad
By the way can anyone tell me where the 'Buddy Bench' is on here I cant find it.

Thank you to everyone who has shown support on the site stuff thread.

You lovely vipers, you smile.

Fingers crossed that MNHQ offer us a sticky.

blue2 Sun 18-Mar-12 22:05:47

Oh, I think its great idea. I'd be happy to chat to someone who needed to offload. I used to be a Homestart Volunteer, so have broad shoulders smile

Doha Sun 18-Mar-12 22:08:43

Wonderful idea--count me in.

Emm where is the buddy bench tho??

jinsei Sun 18-Mar-12 22:21:21

I think it's a great idea - there have been many times when I could have used a RL friend, and I would be more than happy to chat to someone who was lonely.

Off to add my name on the other thread. smile

Doha I am hoping they will give us a permanent 'sticky' thread.

As soon as If they do, I will pointing people to it left, right and centre. Rest assured grin

SlightlySeethrough Sun 28-Oct-12 23:34:20


I am bumping this as we now have our shiny new Local boards including friendship benches

Thank you MNHQ thanks

I think I have PM'd everyone on this thread now, but just in case I missed anyone, I just wanted to ask that if you supported the idea, can you go and 'sit' on your bench so that we can begin to direct people to somewhere of real value. And please do tell other posters about it and hopefully we can start to build them into genuine offers of RL support/friendship/--wine--/coffee

Thank you all again for supporting the idea
Gin all round x

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:05:16

bumping again (it's AF here)

the new local boards are here

I was a bit put off by needing a new name to register for them, but I suppose you could choose a similar name to your usual board name

bringupthebabies Mon 29-Oct-12 00:08:18

My local board is so empty everything I type echoes round my laptop! Anyway i've registered a local nn <wonders if I'm the first and --only one-->

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:09:29

I am off to register

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:14:56

eh, I am going to the "friendship bench" but I can't work out how to add my name

SlightlySeethrough Mon 29-Oct-12 08:55:39

thanks all for responding.

It does seem to be a bit of a PITA actually posting (my listing has disappeared) and I can't seem to re-post (have alerted tech). Also, I was a bit confused about having to come up with another name but might plump for something really creative like... SlightlyJadedLocal grin

So really just to say, please don't give up at the first technical hurdle, it could really make a difference and you are the lovely people who supported it.

thanks for all of you. Friendliest.Vipers.Ever

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 10:06:57

bumping again. I can't navigate the local site feature. I have lost where you register and can't find it and the "friendship bench" appears to have no way to put yourself on it confused

SlightlySeethrough Tue 30-Oct-12 10:56:13

AF, apparently it's not working at the moment...


Glad I nagged everyone to do it, I've now got an inbox of about 40 messages telling me it's not working hmm

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 11:51:30

oh dear

you will try to help ! grin

SlightlySeethrough Tue 30-Oct-12 15:01:28

yep, that'll learn me. grin


The Friendship Benches are now apparently working. I have managed to post on mine. Thank you again MNHQ

But mostly, thank you, thank you to all the lovely MNers who posted in this and site stuff thread and responded to my endless PM's about it. I know loads of you couldn't post when I first nagged asked you, but if you wouldn't mind trying again.... Pretty please.

Just one person getting RL help could change a life. It really could

Thanks muchly

quietlysuggests Wed 14-Nov-12 22:29:19

Thanks for update. Must go look at local..

SpiralDancer Wed 14-Nov-12 22:41:24

This is one of the loveliest threads that I have read in a while, thank you op for starting it.

Only really wished to say that really

fluffyraggies Thu 15-Nov-12 08:38:38

I still can't do it sad

My friendship bench and group meet up page is just sitting there looking the same as always. It has let me make a 'local nickname'. But i cant add anything to the page. Is it me doing something wrong?

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