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Results for 'social capital'

Results 1 - 4 of 4

The liveable lives study: understanding everyday help and support: report

ANDERSON Simon, BROWNLIE Julie, MILNE Elisabeth-Jane

This study highlights an overlooked component of social cohesion – everyday acts of informal help and support within communities. While such acts are often mundane and practical - small loans, lifts, help with shopping - they can also have a significant emotional dimension. Although these acts are often simple, navigating them is not: the researchers find that opposing moral forces complicate this picture. Concepts of the ‘deserving’, of stoicism and the imperative to help others all feature in this study. Key points include: the character of informal support among family, friends and even strangers is shaped by the social and physical characteristics of areas but also by the narratives that attach to them; in the often unspoken moral framework underpinning these interactions, both reciprocity (giving back) and mutuality (where both parties benefit from the interaction) are important elements; public policy needs to recognise both the interactional complexity and the emotional significance of everyday help and support. In the context of political debate around austerity and the scope of the state, the infrastructural qualities of such relationships need to be recognised. While such support makes possible other aspects of social life, it also requires maintenance and repair in its own right.

Understanding everyday help and support: summary

ANDERSON Simon, BROWNLIE Julie, MILNE Elisabeth-Jane

A summary of a study examining low-level or everyday help and support and the role it can play in allowing people to lead ‘liveable’ lives. The study explored the ways in which the need for (and availability of) such support is shaped by social context, biography and relationships. It also looked at how support actually happens (or not) and how it is sustained over time. Key findings included: small acts of help, support and kindness were often mundane and barely noticed (even by those involved), but had fundamental consequences for individual and community well-being; although this everyday help was often practical, it could have important emotional consequences; individual circumstances, life stage and life events (e.g. parenting, ill health, retirement) created needs for informal help and support, but also ways of potentially meeting those needs; powerful emotions and moral considerations attached to these apparently straightforward acts, particularly notions of reciprocity and who should be considered deserving of help; many of the perceived risks of helping or being helped related to people’s concerns about their self-image or how others saw them; collectively, these acts and relationships of everyday help and support had an ‘infrastructural’ quality - they made possible other aspects of social life, but needed attention, maintenance and repair in their own right. The briefing concludes that while it is not possible to legislate for kindness, attempts should be made to avoid damaging – and, where possible, foster and extend – the conditions in which it occurs.

Timebanking

Timebanking UK

Timebanking is a means of exchange between people involving time where 1 hour of help = 1 time credit. Timebanking UK supports the development of community time banks where local people are regarded as assets and time banks helps to build mutual social and practical support networks. Timebanking UK is a membership organisation and there are currently 300 time banks across the country involving 30,000 people and 3,700 organisations.

Measuring national well-being: an analysis of social capital in the UK

SIEGLER Veronique

This article provides a baseline analysis of social capital in the UK, using the latest available data. The data are based on 25 headline measures proposed by the Office for National Statistics, which cover four key aspects of social capital: personal relationships, social network support, civic engagement and trust and cooperative norms. Key findings include: around 1 in 10 people in the UK reported feeling lonely all, most, or more than half of the time in 2011/12 and just over a third said that they wish they could spend more time with their family and have more social contact. Nearly 1 in 5 people reported looking after or giving special help to someone sick, disabled or elderly and nearly a fifth of people had given unpaid help or worked as a volunteer in a local, national or international organisation or charity in the last 12 months in 2012/13. Half of people reported being very or quite interested in politics and around two-thirds thought people in their neighbourhood could be trusted. Nearly three-quarters of people felt people in their neighbourhood get along with each other and are willing to help each other.

Results 1 - 4 of 4

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