26 November 2021

Creating & connecting at Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones hosts a weekly woodworking group where participants really enjoy coming together to plan their projects and bring their plans to life in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere. They are proud of their work and invited People to come and take these photos.

Stepping Stones helps fight loneliness

Did you know that loneliness has the equivalent negative effects on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? Loneliness has detrimental effects on mental and physical health directly, and indirectly due to the often-associated increase in levels of inactivity.

Loneliness is not about the number of people in your life. A child in a new school or an elderly person in a home or hospital are both surrounded by people. Loneliness is about the absence of people in your life that you share something with, something that is meaningful to you both, a relationship where you are ‘in it together’.

In New Zealand, one in three adults report feeling lonely some of the time. Rates are double that of the general population for people on lower incomes.

For people diagnosed with a mental illness, the rates get much higher - as high as 75% - 93%. The causes of this high rate include symptoms and effects of mental illness such as social anxiety, but societal barriers such as stigma, and financial constraints play a big part. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with its lockdowns and social distancing, has added to all
these factors.

At our Stepping Stones centre in South Dunedin, we work to minimise loneliness for people facing financial hardship, mental distress and social stigma, by providing a safe and inclusive space where everyone is welcomed and accepted. Working collectively, we share ideas, develop plans and projects that promote connection and improve wellbeing.

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” Mother Teresa.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can be involved in turning back the tide of loneliness, please email Louise at louise.roberts@psotago.org.nz or phone her on (03) 4700815.


Stepping Stones bench delivery

Neil and Dean decided to upcycle a wooden bedhead into a lovely garden seat, and then wanted to donate the seat to Ross Home in Dunedin. So, with a little help from their fellow woodworkers, the seat was delivered, much to the joy of residents and staff! Pictured left to right are Paul, Bruce, Keith and Neil.


Stepping Stones train

Bill proudly displays a train he has made and says “the train took three weeks to make, and I want to send it to my nephew in Upper Hutt. Neil helped me with the construction, and for my next project I want to make a special box to store my watch and other stuff in.”


About Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones is a day programme where we work alongside clients who are facing mental wellbeing challenges - to build their skills, assist them to make informed decisions, and connect them with their wider community.  Stepping Stones is part of our Skillsbank.

Summer People

Download a PDF of our People Magazine - 11MB