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Results for 'befriending schemes'

Results 1 - 10 of 34

Telephone befriending: a valuable service during lockdown

HEALTHWATCH ENFIELD
2020

This report gives a brief overview of the telephone befriending scheme set up in the London Borough of Enfield during the Coronavirus pandemic and a snapshot of issues raised by residents identified as being vulnerable or at risk. Overall, Healthwatch Enfield volunteers made 413 telephone befriending calls during this period. The main issue raised by participants was the impact of social isolation on health and wellbeing including mental health issues, with those residents with ongoing health needs being particularly concerned. Recipients appreciated food parcels and medicines delivery but also valued the support of family and neighbours. Most of the recipients were pleased to receive the calls and a core continued to receive these throughout the period. The report suggests that the scheme should be continued if people request it, with established organisations being asked to support the calls. If or when a second wave arises, arrangements should be made to re-establish the full service.

Rapid review of reviews: what remotely delivered interventions can reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults? Executive summary

BOULTON Elisabeth R., et al
2020

Background: During the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, millions of older adults (70+) across the UK (and elsewhere) are being advised to be particularly stringent about social distancing, and to avoid contact with those outside their household. Social distancing places them at even higher risk than normal of social isolation and loneliness, which can adversely affect quality of life, wellbeing and mental health, and are associated with physical ill health and mortality. Methodology: the researchers followed a ‘review of reviews’ methodology to synthesise evidence from related (but differing) remote interventions for social isolation and loneliness, to help inform decisions about different approaches. Findings: the review reports on the following interventions: supported video-communication interventions; telephone befriending; online discussion groups and forums; social networking sites and multi-tool interventions (PC, training, messaging, chat groups). Interventions vary greatly, making it difficult to isolate the effective elements. Concepts of loneliness and social isolation vary, making comparisons and conclusions challenging. Conclusion: the findings from this review do not lead to recommending particular modes of delivering befriending, social support, or low intensity psychological interventions (e.g. videoconferencing, telephone calls, chat rooms or forums), but they do suggest that the characteristics identified through the detailed analysis of components should be incorporated into the delivery of an intervention.

Building community capacity: making an economic case

KNAPP Martin, et al
2010

The Coalition Government’s vision, the Big Society, includes ideas for increasing local involvement, moving the provision of services and decision-making closer to local communities. Volunteering is strongly encouraged, as is the creation of social enterprises and other organisations with charitable status which may be able to take over local services currently run by the state. Independent community organisers are also proposed as part of these new developments. This small research project aimed to investigate the economic consequences which follow from initiatives of this type. The approach taken was to use the findings from previous studies, combined with the expertise of people delivering services and shaping initiatives, to produce simple simulations. Each simulation sought to mimic the pathways that people might follow, whether through services or through ‘life events’ such as getting a job, or in terms of changes in their wellbeing. The aim was to investigate the economic impact of the community capacity-building initiative compared to what would happen in the absence of such an initiative. The study covers 3 examples of ways in which community capacity can be built: time banks; befriending; and debt and benefits advice from community navigators. It focuses on the costs of these projects and on the monetary value of some of their consequences. These calculations demonstrate that each of these community initiatives generate net economic benefits in quite a short time period.

The use of telephone befriending in low level support for socially isolated older people - an evaluation

CATTAN Mima, KIME Nicola, BAGNALL Anne-Marie
2011

Telephone befriending schemes have long been considered an effective method to reduce loneliness among older people. This study investigated the impact of a national scheme for 40 isolated and lonely older people, involving 8 project sites in the UK. It assessed the impact of different models of telephone-based befriending services on older people's health and well-being. Findings revealed that the service helped older people to gain confidence, re-engage with the community and become socially active again. Overall, three main topics were identified: why older people valued the service; what impact it had made on their health and well-being; and what they wanted from the service. Also, nine subtopics emerged: life is worth living; gaining a sense of belonging; knowing they had a friend; a healthy mind is a healthy body; the alleviation of loneliness and anxiety; increased self-confidence; ordinary conversation; a trusted and reliable service; the future - giving something back. In conclusion, telephone befriending schemes for older people provide low-cost means for socially isolated older people to become more confident and independent and develop a sense of self-respect.

Ringing the changes: the role of telephone communication in a helpline and befriending service targeting loneliness in older people

PRESTON Claire, MOORE Stephen
2019

The drive to deliver services addressing loneliness in older people by telephone and online makes it increasingly relevant to consider how the mode of communication affects the way people interact with services and the capacity of services to meet their needs. This paper is based on the qualitative strand of a larger mixed-methods study of a national phoneline tackling loneliness in older people in the United Kingdom. The research comprised thematic analysis of four focus groups with staff and 42 semi-structured interviews with callers. It explored the associations between telephone-delivery, how individuals used the services and how the services were able to respond. To understand these associations, it was useful to identify some constituent characteristics of telephone communication in this context: namely its availability, reach and non-visual nature. This enabled various insights and comparison with other communication media. For example, the availability of the services attracted people seeking frequent emotional support but this presented challenges to staff. More positively, the ability of the services to connect disparate individuals enabled them to form different kinds of satisfying relationships. The evolution of mixed communication forms, such as internet-based voice communication and smartphone-based visual communication, makes analysis at the level of a technology's characteristics useful. Such a cross-cutting perspective can inform both the design of interventions and assessment of their suitability for different manifestations of loneliness.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme

The Chatty Cafe Scheme supports cafes to designate a 'Chatter & Natter' table where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers. The scheme aims to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together from mums with their babies to older people.

Loneliness: how do you know your council is actively tacking loneliness?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
2018

Sets out a framework of interventions for tackling loneliness, which could be used to shape local areas delivery plans. There is a growing body of research showing that loneliness is a serious condition which can have a harmful effect on individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as bringing costs to public finance, particularly health and social care, and to the economy. The report argues that it is important that local areas define the nature of loneliness in their area, and who is at risk, through their JSNA, using local intelligence and national information such as that provided by the ONS and Age UK’s Loneliness heat map. The document identifies a number of services and approaches that provide the first steps in finding individuals who are experiencing loneliness and enabling them to gain support that meets their specific needs. These include: first contact schemes; door-knocking schemes, targeting people at risk; formal social care assessments; social prescribing in primary care; home from hospital or admissions avoidance schemes; information about activity to tackle loneliness available through settings such as supermarkets, one-stop-shops, pharmacies and GP surgeries. The report also considers direct interventions, which can help people maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, including: group activities such as men’s groups, lunch clubs, walking groups, book groups for people with mental health problems, choirs, and cooking groups for young parents; one-to-one approaches such as befriending schemes; psychological support, such as counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy. Specific community approaches provide an enabling environment and include: establishing age-friendly, dementia-friendly and mental health-friendly communities; developing volunteering, including people who might not ordinarily volunteer; mobilising peer support, and intergenerational support in neighbourhoods. In addition, gateway services such as transport, technology, spatial planning and housing make it easier for communities to come together and help people build and maintain social connections.

My Guide

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

My Guide is a sighted guiding service, started by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (Guide Dogs) in 2014, in which trained volunteers assist blind and partially sighted adults by helping them get out of their homes: to the shops, community events, and other activities. This was mainly out of a recognition that not everyone had the confidence or ability to undertake more formal mobility training such as with a guide dog, but nonetheless, people with sight loss who had lost confidence and become isolated still by and large want to get out and about and participate in life. My Guide was therefore envisaged either as an alternative or even a stepping stone to other forms of mobility. Ultimately it is geared towards promoting and enhancing independence and wellbeing and supports people with sight loss in achieving outcome 7 (I can get out and about) of the Seeing It My Way, the national outcomes framework for people with sight loss.

Volunteer peer support and befriending for carers of people living with dementia: an exploration of volunteers’ experiences

SMITH Raymond, et al
2018

With ageing populations and greater reliance on the voluntary sector, the number of volunteer‐led peer support and befriending services for carers of people with dementia in England is set to increase. However, little is known about the experiences of the volunteers who deliver these interventions, many of whom are former carers. Using in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with 10 volunteer peer supporters and befrienders, this exploratory study investigated volunteers’ experiences of delivering the support, the types of relationships they form with carers and their perceptions of its impact upon them and on carers. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Findings showed that volunteers benefitted from their role due to the ‘two‐way’ flow of support. Experiential similarity and having common interests with carers were considered important to the development of mutually beneficial relationships. Volunteers perceived that carers gained emotional and social support, which in turn improved the carers’ coping ability. Being able to see positive changes to carers’ lives was important for volunteers to gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their role. However, volunteers also identified challenges with their role, such as dealing with carers’ emotions. Future research should investigate ways of reducing potential burden on volunteers and explore the impact of volunteering specifically on former carers of people with dementia.

A review of the basic principles of sustainable community-based volunteering approaches to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people

PARKINSON Andy, GRIFFITHS Endaf, TRIER Eva
2018

This study examines the social, economic and environmental conditions that enable community-based volunteering projects to reduce loneliness and isolation in older people to become successful. It also identifies barriers to volunteering approaches, and how they can be tackled. The study involved a literature review, consultation with stakeholders, and an analysis of eight case studies in Wales. Drawing on the findings, it also sets out a Theory of Change to show how programmes have the potential to reduce loneliness and social isolation and provides a framework for the future self-evaluation of programmes. The study found that schemes employ a range of approaches in order to engage and support their clients, including in-home visits, telephone befriending, and group activities. This can be influenced by funding or its ability to support the project’s aims and outcomes. Other key findings highlight the need for schemes to be able to accurately assess the social and emotional status of older people so as to deliver appropriate interventions; for schemes to target effectively to reach those most at risk. It also found that schemes adopting a participatory approach which places local people at the heart and schemes which focused on smaller geographical areas tended to be more effective. The report makes eight recommendations, which include the development of a standard method or tools for monitoring and evaluating volunteer-led schemes.

Results 1 - 10 of 34

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
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