Hayley Stanton and Stacie Clark

Local social enterprise, Quiet Connections CIC, has been awarded almost £220k in National Lottery funding to support its work with people who feel anxious and avoidant in social situations.

Quiet Connections, based in Redruth in Cornwall, will use the funds to run more activities that support people in growing confidence and self-acceptance whilst making new friends.

Quiet Connections was founded in 2017 by Hayley Stanton who experienced social anxiety herself and struggled to access support. She and co-director Stacie Clark, both Cornwall School for Social Entrepreneurs fellows, have made it their mission to change the way that people who feel anxious in social situations are supported and to increase awareness of social anxiety.

Clark said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund is recognising and supporting our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to increase the support we are offering across Cornwall.

“This is important because social anxiety is a huge, unspoken issue affecting more than one in ten of us, and it often feels like we are the only person struggling. So we’re excited to have an even greater opportunity to show people that they are not alone; bringing people together in safe, supportive spaces to gently stretch their comfort zones and build truly understanding friendships that offer the encouragement and support we need to grow.”