A former Welsh rugby international is coming to Caerphilly for a cuppa and a chat.
Dafydd James, who played at centre and on the wing for Wales between 1995 and 2007, will be attending a coffee morning at Caerphilly Social Club on Friday, February 28.
The free event has been organised by Caerphilly-based law firm JCP Solicitors in partnership with mental health charity Hafal.
The event, which is being held in an effort to tackle isolation, is aimed towards people who are experiencing feelings of loneliness.
Ex British and Irish Lions tourist James, 44, said: “ I am happy to be involved in this series of events with JCP Solicitors and Hafal. Feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety can affect anyone, at any age or at any stage in their life, as I know from personal experience.
“It can be debilitating and can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, health, career and relationships. But too often it is a hidden problem because we still, as a society, have not been able to remove the stigma around mental health issues.”
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He added: “This will only change when we start to speak up and really talk to each other – so let’s do this with our friends, neighbours, colleagues and families, and at community events such as this one. I am looking forward to meeting some new faces there.”
During his playing career, James represented Scarlets, Blues, Celtic Warriors, Harlequins and Sale, as well as Bridgend, Pontypridd and Llanelli.
He earned 48 caps for Wales, scoring 15 tries in the process.
Mike Downey of JCP Solicitors said: “We were very pleased to host these friendly and informal events, in partnership with Hafal, and we’re grateful to Dafydd for giving his time to support our coffee morning in Caerphilly.
“Loneliness and isolation can be such a corrosive problem, and one that we don’t speak about enough. It is important that we all do what we can to reach out to those around us who might be suffering, and that we speak up if we are struggling with isolation ourselves.
“This can be a particular problem for older people in our communities. As head of lifetime planning, my team meets regularly with elderly clients to discuss wills, and often we are the only person they have spoken to in several days.
“We hope this get-together helps to start a conversation and has helped attendees reach out to others and forge some new friendships.”
The event is being held as part of the Time to Change Wales campaign, which seeks to end the stigma around mental health issues.
The campaign is being delivered by Hafal in partnership with Mind Cymru.