GROUPs for introverted people who may suffer from social anxiety have been set up to help them connect with each other in a safe, welcoming spaces.

The Quiet Connections' Weekly MeetUps, which are funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, meet at Falmouth, Truro, St Austell, Redruth, Helston, new group Liskeard, and Hayle. 

Liskeard-based dance fitness instructor and psychology student, Ellie Zalick, is bringing together people who consider themselves to be quieter to gently make meaningful connections with others in their own way and at their own pace. 

As a volunteer connector with Quiet Connections CIC, Ellie is looking to create a welcoming space for people in Liskeard where it’s okay to talk and it’s okay to be quiet too. 

Some people attend because they consider themselves more introverted and they’re looking to meet like-minded people, while others may experience social anxiety and want the opportunity to begin connecting with others in a safe space where people understand what it’s like to feel this way. 

Ellie said: "It’s important to create spaces for quieter people to come together and feel like they belong; a space where they can just be without feeling pressured into speaking or pretending to be loud and outgoing. 

Falmouth Packet: Ellie ZalickEllie Zalick (Image: Quiet Connections)

"These meetups really help quieter people to be their authentic self."

As a quieter person herself, Ellie knows what it feels like to have people telling her to speak, and she wants to make sure that other people never feel bad about themselves because of their temperament. 

"We need to shine a light on quieter strengths because observation, listening and reflection are important skills to possess too," she said.

Michele Cheesman, Community Coordinator for Quiet Connections, said: "It can be a massive achievement for someone to leave their home and attend their first meet up, and there are no expectations of anyone when they join. 

"Just be yourself and enjoy sharing space and connecting in a way that feels good to you. 

"If that means sitting back and observing, or quietly doing some crochet, colouring or even reading a book, that’s absolutely welcomed."

Rose Burch, MeetUp participant at Quiet Connections, said: "I’m grateful for Quiet Connections because they give me a chance to be me without judgement or criticism. 

"I am able to be part of a group socially, in comfort and feeling safe, for the first time in a long time with them. I have a sense of belonging and being cared about. 

"It's just lovely."

'Quieteers' meet at the following places every week:
Falmouth - Fairwinds, Arwenack Street every Wednesday from 6pm-8pm
Helston - Inn & Still every Tuesday 10am-12pm
Truro - Colours Cafe & Wellbeing centre every Monday from 4pm-6pm
St Austell - Pattern Hall, Foundry Drive every Thursday from 10am-12pm
Liskeard - Public Hall, every Wednesday from 7-9pm