By Anne Marie Box

Almost without exception happy people report that good relationships are central to their sense of well-being.  This is not a surprise as people are social animals and having a sense of community and belonging is a primal need.

Living in Noosa can be a challenge for many of us who were born somewhere else and don’t necessarily have the support network of family and friends.  This leads to social isolation and negatively impacts on our sense of belonging to a community.

According to the Bureau of statistics over 53,000 people are residing in the greater area of Noosa.  Of those 13% reported being born somewhere other than Queensland, nearly 11,000 of those reporting that they were born overseas.

Wendy Wilson, the founder of a social networking group called LB30 was born in a “wee little village in Scotland” with a deep level of social connectivity.  Arriving here with her young family she said she struggled to develop a feeling of belonging, engagement and emotional security within the larger community.  Fortunately for us her dilemma fostered a unique idea of forming a ladies group which sought to enhance the ability of members to meet and develop new friendships in an emotionally safe environment.

Now in its eighth year and with over 180 members Wendy is notably proud of her achievements.  The group has exceeded her expectations and enhancing both individual and collective well-being amongst its members.

The LB30 group has a website and Facebook page where members are able to keep abreast of both organised and impromptu activities and facilitates communication between members.  For instance organised activities occur both Wednesday and Saturdays in the form of coffee mornings.  Several book clubs have also been started by various members as well as a stand-up paddling group and walking groups.

I love the Facebook page for its flexibility and the opportunity to keep up with the various events and people says Anne Marie Box a psychologist and member of L13237654_1758618241036566_6572660063700800291_n30 for several years.  “One Saturday I posted on the LB30 Facebook page asking if anyone would like to see a film playing later in the day.  A fellow member agreed to meet me there and since we have become firm friends.  It was a lovely introduction to someone I would not normally have met”.

Anne Marie went on to say that the LB30 group had enhanced her quality of life in Noosa and that she feels that she is a happier and more productive citizen.  She says that she often recommends the group to those people who are yet to develop the relationships within the community and feels very gratified to hear how grateful they are for the opportunity to connect.