My name is Dwayne Wilkinson. I started coming to The Wolfpack Project in 2019 when I was referred by my social worker.
I met Damien first of all and he really put me at ease. Even in those early days, I met friends who I have kept in contact with ever since.
“Meeting them was a joy for me; I’ve felt alone my whole life, and I’ve struggled to make connections with people who understand me.”
I have autism, and a few years ago I had a brain aneurism which made a lot of things in my life very difficult; I was angry about it for a long time.
I find it very hard to trust people but coming to The Wolfpack Project for support and has helped me to be more trusting and open up more. Meeting other young people who could empathise with me completely changed my life.
“I actually got on with them and we could have a laugh. It made me feel safe. I feel much less agitated after coming to these groups and spending time with these people.“
It was hard over 2020 as things went online, but we stayed in touch over Zoom and Facebook, and the charity made sure we all had a group chat whenever we wanted. I was so happy when we started meeting for groups again this year.
I found winter particularly hard, as I was alone and there was a lockdown. I live by myself and couldn’t get out to see anyone; I couldn’t even see my Mum. This year, I’ve had people to see during the cold weeks and it’s been a lot more bearable. Wolfpack Project events give me something to look forward to even when it’s cold and dark and miserable.
I’ve met even more people and tried different activities that I didn’t do before. I really love the board game group, even if I struggle to understand some of them, everyone there always helps me, and we have a lot of fun. I also love going to the cinema with everyone
It always means a lot to be able to come to a coffee morning to have a chat during winter, it helps to get things off my chest sometime.
I still feel a bit anxious when I meet new people, but I feel a lot better than I used to and I really feel like I have friendships now that I didn’t have before. I think everyone who comes is a bit anxious at first, but after a while we all start talking and everyone relaxes.
It helps to know everyone is in the same boat and struggling to make friends, so we can feel safe around each other and we don’t have to put on a front. It’s been very nice to meet mor young people with autism who understand me.
I never want to feel alone again! I would recommend The Wolfpack Project to anyone who is looking for a safe space to talk to others and make friends without feeling scared.
If you or someone you know is struggling with loneliness, please contact us at email@example.com.