A widower has been left “overwhelmed” by the kind response he’s received from strangers after writing an appeal for company on Facebook.
Patrick Wright, from Manchester, lost his wife, Kimberley, to ovarian cancer on 20 June and has since felt “very isolated” in his local area of Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
He explained his situation on a Facebook group usually used to share events happening in the area, saying: “My wife has just sadly passed away rather tragically and I’m suddenly feeling very isolated in Chorlton.
“I’m 37, work as a university lecturer, into the arts and literature. Anyone interested in social meet ups, friendship, or can recommend local groups? I really want to know more people in the area. Thanks. Patrick.”
Much to his surprise he soon received more than 100 responses from local residents offering friendship.
Dozens of people have recommended local activity groups Wright could join, from meditation classes to life drawing.
“If you enjoy a bit of exercise, come and join us Chorlton Runners down at the Water Park on a Sunday morning at 9am - you’ll meet tons of awesome people and get to have some lovely chats,” one person said.
Another added: “My partner and I are both English teachers into the arts and my partner, Michael, is a poet. He recommends ‘Bad Language’ - a poetry night on at Gullivers in Northern Quarter that you might like if you don’t already know about it. It’s a friendly crowd.”
Wright also received an offer to join a local quiz team as well as multiple messages from people saying they’d be happy to go for a quiet coffee and a chat.
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Wright said receiving so many responses was “moving and overwhelming”.
“I’m used to having a small circle of friends and suddenly lots of people are happy to meet me. I only expected a few replies,” he said.
“It’s lovely to know there’s people out there willing to reach out and offer kindness and compassion.”
He added that he is planning to meet up with some of the people after he has emptied his wife’s studio and organised her funeral.
“Once my head is a bit clearer I can think about talking more with others,” he said.
“Many of the ideas are a bit too premature or ambitious for me right now. I’m struggling with intense sadness and getting out of bed is enough of a challenge for now.”
In a later Facebook post, he also thanked the people in his area for their generosity and support.
He said: “It’s enough to know, for now, that there are options out there for me.”