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The community group tackling female loneliness in the city

Third Place is a flourishing initiative bringing women together to combat loneliness in the city

In Manchester, a welcoming and inclusive initiative is blossoming, bringing women together and combating loneliness.

Third Place, founded nearly a year ago, is creating a community where women can connect, socialise, and form lasting friendships through a variety of engaging events.

We sat down with one of the co-founders of Third Place, Bethany, to discuss how this initiative is making a huge impact on the local community.

Third Place, Manchester

Third Place
Manifestation and Wine Night

Bethany moved to Manchester a decade ago for university and has experienced various phases of life in the city.

She observed a common challenge many adults face: making friends.

“I feel like it’s always been on my mind how difficult it can be to make friends as an adult,” she shared.

“It’s something that people find a bit awkward or embarrassing to talk about, but actually, it’s super common to feel lonely or feel like they don’t have friends. It’s not anything to be embarrassed about.”

Bethany set out with Abigail Hawley (Creative Director) and Caitlin Rawlings (Social Lead) to create a space where women could meet and form meaningful connections – and Third Place was born.

What is the Third Place?

Third Place

The name itself is rooted in sociological theory, where the “first place” is home, the “second place” is work, and the “third place” is a community space—like a park bench or a coffee shop—where people can gather and interact.

Third Place hosts a diverse array of events designed to appeal to a variety of interests.

What kind of events do they do?

“We’ve done pottery painting, yoga, after-work drinks, ice skating, coffee mornings, movie nights, and supper clubs,” Bethany explained.

“Our events broadly fall into four categories: explore, reflect, move, and create.”

These categories encompass everything from fitness classes to creative workshops, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Bethany shared some heartwarming stories of the friendships that have blossomed through Third Place. “It’s really rewarding to see people who met at an event now going for dinner together or having weekends away.

“There are quite a lot of little subgroups that have formed, and I know there are loads of group chats people make after the events.”

After work socials in Manchester

Third Place not only benefits its participants but also supports local venues by increasing footfall, especially on quieter nights. “We try to do our after-work socials on those more quieter nights for bars.

“So, say, normally it might be a quiet Tuesday or Wednesday, but we can say, ‘Okay, we know you’re going to have 30 girls there next Tuesday,’” Bethany noted.

This collaboration helps local businesses while providing a welcoming, no pressure environment for attendees.

Bethany encourages women who might feel nervous about attending an event to take the plunge. “Living in a city can be really lonely, but Manchester is an amazing place to be.

“I’d really encourage anyone who’s nervous to be brave and put themselves out there.

When we’re able to put our guests at ease before they arrive and offer them a warm welcome, it lets them know that this is a safe space to be their authentic selves.

“When you’re relaxed, it’s so much easier to make those genuine connections with others that form the foundations of new friendships. The events go smoothly when everyone starts chatting right away and our guests come away with more new friends. So it’s in our best interests to create a warm and reassuring environment. 

 “On the other side of your worry and fear, I promise there are amazing people in the city and amazing places to explore. It’s definitely worth pushing through the fear because there’s a happier life in Manchester on the other side of it.”

For those interested in joining Third Place, the initiative is open to anyone who identifies as a woman.

Bethany and her team are dedicated to creating an inclusive and supportive community where all women can feel welcome and connected.

You can find out more about Third Place by clicking here

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