Two heads are better than one

Two heads are better than one and prevention is better than cure

 'A stitch in time', 'be prepared': we all know the sayings about prevention being better than cure. It's common sense - good sense.

Government knows this, too. It urges local authorities to prevent need. But those authorities have limited cash and they often set the threshold for care so high that you have to be in crisis before you get help.

What if you could get help from those around you before things went wrong? One recent report,Sinking and Swimmingby the Young Foundation, says transition'…could be an area for long-term savings… as well as much greater human wellbeing'- if only everyone had someone they could turn to.

Grapevine, too, believes the stitch in time is connections with others - people who can help you to get over problems, become stronger, more resilient and not feel you're stuck on your own.

Chloe and Jen's story so far

No friends, lonely, isolated: not the life anyone wants - let alone a 20-year old woman. But this was Chloe's life.

Chloe was shy. She seldom looked up and gave little away about how she was feeling. A fulfilling life has real friendships and relationships. How could Chloe get these? The answer started to form as Natalie, a Grapevine Community Connections worker was on a 5.30 a.m. run. She described her job to Jennifer, her running partner. Jennifer was interested.

A possible match took shape in Natalie's mind: Jennifer had just opened a hairdressing salon, Chloe loved all things feminine. So, bearing coffee and muffins, Chloe and Natalie arrived with the plan of 'hanging out and seeing what happened'. It was a little uneasy at first. Chloe was reluctant to get out of the car; Jennifer was uncertain about how to communicate with someone who doesn't use words.

But now Chloe springs out of the car leaving Natalie to bring the coffees. Chloe likes the atmosphere of a grown-up women's place. One of the customers talked about Chloe maybe having a lesson at her daughter's riding school.

Chloe's mum says she comes back buzzing from her trips to 'Volume', Jen's salon. Jen says 'We have more in common than I could have imagined. Long may our friendship continue.'


Clare Wightman



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