Conversations that Connect

We have partnered with Sophie Stephenson, facilitator of The Thinking Project, to share the skills and tips needed to make meaningful connections.

Welcome to Conversations that Connect!

We are so excited to share with you our wonderful new campaign – Conversations that Connect. We have partnered with Sophie Stephenson, facilitator of The Thinking Project, to share with you the skills and tips needed to form lasting meaningful connections.

Age Better in Sheffield is building the pathway to an Age-Friendly Sheffield. Age-Friendly Cities is a World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative that we are delighted to be a member of. We will be working to make Sheffield a wonderful place to grow older in, no matter what age you are, and we know that connections are essential for communities of value and quality. Connections are about letting people know that you see them, whatever their age, background or story is. We hope that this short video series will mean the people of Sheffield can make lasting impacts on the people they meet. When we can start making meaningful connections with the people around us then we will, in very simple but transformative ways, make Sheffield a place that encourages people to flourish and thrive.

We first worked with Sophie a couple of years ago and have gone on to build a great partnership. Sophie is an expert in supporting people to have more meaningful connections with others, and so we launched a series of workshops across our target ward communities, where people came together to learn new skills around forming connections.

These were really successful and provided the inspiration to launch a campaign to spread this work even further. After meeting with Sophie, we decided these videos would be the first step! Although we have had to change our plan slightly to accommodate lockdown, we are still excited to be able to share great content online and look forward to events in person in the future.

Sophie tells us about her journey that lead to The Thinking Project and the goals of the campaign:

Ten years ago, I experienced a period of acute loneliness. I was isolated from the people and places I felt connected to and over time I started to lose touch with what was most important to me and to who I was. By chance during this time I came across a reference to a book called Time to Think by Nancy Kline. She described a way we could connect with each other that is both incredibly simple, and yet incredibly rare. I realised one of the things I was most missing was the chance to think and talk and connect without interruption, or judgement, or time limits, or an obsession with outcomes. An opportunity to have conversations where I felt connected to myself, and to the people around me.

A few years ago, I was approached by Age Better in Sheffield to create a series of workshops that would help people connect more meaningfully to help reduce loneliness in our communities. The videos in this series bring together the ideas that were included in the live workshops. We’re hoping as you watch them, you’ll realise how much of an impact you can have on the people around you.

Loneliness is as individual as each of us are. Yet one person, one conversation at a time I believe we really can make a difference.

You can find the videos on our YouTube channel.

Let’s start making connections…let’s make Sheffield an Age-Friendly City!

The Thinking Project, based in Sheffield and the Peak District supports people to create lives they love and organisations where everyone thrives. Sophie is an expert in the Thinking Environment® and is one of only 18 practitioners in the world accredited to qualify others in the Thinking Environment.  She can be found at or on twitter @TheThinkProj