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Results for 'social isolation'

Results 1 - 10 of 112

Call&Check: a community service which disrupts the norm

DICKINSON Joe
2019

In this project presentation the author, inventor of Call&Check UK, describes the service which is designed to enable people to live independently and confidently in their own homes. Regular visits are made by a postman/postal operator and who asks five short questions to find out how the recipient is and if there is anything they need. Call&Check works not only for older people in communities but for many others who need that little extra support to live at home.

Agents for change: an evaluation of the Somerset Village Agents programme

COMMUNITY COUNCIL FOR SOMERSET
2017

An evaluation of the Somerset Village Agents programme, which aims to reduce isolation and help connect excluded and vulnerable people with services that support them to improve their independence, health and wellbeing. It uses locally based staff who act as first point of contact for people needing information and support. The evaluation, undertaken jointly by South West Forum and Clarity CiC with support from University of Gloucestershire, included analysis of client data, interviews with clients and discussions with locally based staff. Analysis was carried out between October 2016 and February 2017. The results of the evaluation found that the Somerset Village Agents programme is highly regarded by clients, statutory agencies and voluntary and public organisations who have a connection with the programme. It is also helping the most isolated, lonely and vulnerable people in the community, especially older people and those with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions. Areas for potential improvement identified by the evaluation included expanding reach of the programme to reach more younger people and more work to build community capacity. A cost benefit analysis of the programme estimates that for the 21-month period reviewed the Village Agents programme cost £646,000 to deliver and generated £2.5 million in direct savings to the state and a further £2.74 million in wider social value. The report makes recommendations for the future development of the programme.

Bringing people together: how community action can tackle loneliness and social isolation

ANDERSON Zoe, et al
2019

Learning and examples from a range of community and voluntary sector projects tackling social isolation and loneliness in the UK. Drawing on the work of charities, the report considers the causes of loneliness, looks at 'what works' to prevent it and suggests ways to offer support to those who are isolated or lonely. Preventative initiatives include giving something back through volunteering, helping people to take on new interests, and investing in community spaces to help people share interests together. Examples to support those who are lonely or isolated include giving people choices in how to get involved and to make steps manageable, simple solutions such as befriending and peer support, tailoring solutions for different age groups, and using technology such as such as social media and computer tablets to widen access to support. The report shows that supporting people to improve their mindset, building new connections with others, building confidence and developing a new sense of purpose, can have a big impact in reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. The report is based on interviews with funded organisations and staff in The National Lottery Community Fund staff.

Social, economic and health impacts of WaveLength's work with loneliness and isolation

IRVINE Annie
2015

The findings of a small qualitative research to understand the ways media technology such as radio, TV and tablet computers can contribute to reducing loneliness and social isolation among vulnerable groups. Specifically, the research aimed to understand what differences the technologies provided by the charity WaveLength make in different areas of people’s lives, including emotional, social, economic and health. The study carried out interviews with 11 organisations and 14 individual beneficiaries who had received equipment from WaveLength. A further 16 people took part in face-to-face group discussions with 16 participants. The positive impacts of media technology described by participants fell into three broad categories: alleviating the subjective experience of loneliness and associated negative emotions; reducing social isolation by bringing people into ‘real world’ contact with others; and a broad range of other benefits in areas including: information and interest emotional wellbeing and mental health; physical health; and economic and educational impacts. The findings show that media technology could have positive impacts both in alleviating the negative subjective experience of loneliness at times when people were physically alone and also in reducing more objective social isolation by bringing individuals into greater contact with others.

Everyday technology fighting loneliness

WAVELENGTH, UNIVERSITY OF YORK
2019

Summary findings from research co-produced by the University of York and the charity Wavelength, which suggests that people feel less lonely when they have access to everyday technology such as a radio, television or tablet. The research looked at data collected from 445 people over two years. It found that people who received technology saw a statistically significant reduction in emotional and social loneliness. It also found that they rated their health more positively after being given new technology. The study participants had an average age of 44 and over half had been homeless and experienced poor mental health. The report calls on policy makers to make funding available so that vulnerable people can purchase everyday technology and for free access to a minimum standard of broadband in order to connect greater numbers of people via smart televisions and tablet computers.

Age UK Doncaster Circles project: evaluation report 17/18

CLIFFORD Carol, BOWN Helen
2018

An evaluation of the Circles for Independence in Later Life (CFILL) project in Doncaster, from the period April 2017 to July 2018. Based on the Community Circles model, the project focuses on increasing social engagement, independence and resilience of older people, particularly those at risk of hospitalisation or entry into a care home. The model has been adapted to support older people who have no family or friends or where they don’t want them to be part of the circle. The volunteers becoming part of an older person’s social network or ‘circle’ rather than facilitating others to create one. The evaluation draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. The findings show that during the evaluation period 112 people have been involved in the initiative, 76 have had contact with a Circles Connector at Age UK Doncaster, and 40 people out of the 76 who are actively engaged have been matched with a volunteer. The evaluation shows that the project is having a positive impact for those involved towards the four project outcomes: increased confidence in managing long-term health conditions and staying independent; improvements in mental wellbeing; an increase in social connections and less isolation; and benefits for families and volunteers.

Review of key mechanisms in intergenerational practices, and their effectiveness at reducing loneliness/social isolation

BRYER Nia, OWNES Janine
2019

This review examines enablers and barriers to successful intergenerational activities and interventions effectiveness at reducing loneliness and social isolation. It also examines whether there are particular subgroups for whom intergenerational programmes are particularly effective. The review was carried out by researchers at OB3 Research and the Centre for Loneliness Studies at University of Sheffield. It included a literature review, and field work to identify intergenerational interventions and case studies from Wales and the wider UK. The review identified a range of interventions from low level interventions such as raising awareness of ageing issues through to high level intervention where intergenerational activities are embedded into community settings. The findings also indicate that intergenerational practice does more to reduce social isolation and lack of social connections than loneliness. The review identified different benefits for the three groups involved - children/young people, adults and older people. The review also identified a number of enablers that contribute to effective operation of IP (e.g. a visionary leader, a focused perspective) and barriers that hinder action (e.g. time, planning, logistics). The review makes eight recommendations for the Welsh Government to consider in terms of future policy relating to intergenerational practice.

Service-users’ perspectives of link worker social prescribing: a qualitative follow-up study

WILDMAN Josephine M., et al
2019

Background: Social prescribing enables health-care professionals to address non-medical causes of ill-health by harnessing the resources of the voluntary and community sectors in patient care. Although increasingly popular in the UK, evidence for the effectiveness of social prescribing is inconclusive and longer-term studies are needed. This study aimed to explore experiences of social prescribing among people with long-term conditions one to two years after their initial engagement with a social prescribing service. Methods: Qualitative methods comprising semi-structured follow-up interviews were conducted with 24 users of a link worker social prescribing service who had participated in an earlier study. Participants were aged between 40 and 74 years and were living in a socioeconomically-deprived area of North East England. Results: Participants reported reduced social isolation and improvements in their condition management and health-related behaviours. However, many participants had experienced setbacks, requiring continued support to overcome problems due to multi-morbidity, family circumstances and social, economic or cultural factors. Findings indicated that, in this sample of people facing complex health and socioeconomic issues, longer-term intervention and support was required. Features of the link worker social prescribing intervention that were positively appraised by participants, included a highly personalised service to reflect individual goal setting priorities and a focus on gradual and holistic change dealing with issues beyond health. The important role of a strong and supportive relationship with an easily-accessible link worker in promoting sustained behaviour change highlights the importance of link worker continuity. A lack of suitable and accessible voluntary and community services for onward referral acted as a barrier to involvement for some participants. Conclusions: This study highlights issues of interest to commissioners and providers of social prescribing. Engagement with social prescribing for up to two years was examined and continued involvement was identified for those with complex issues, suggesting that a long-term intervention is required. The availability of onward referral services is an important consideration for social prescribing in a time of constrained public spending. From a research perspective, the range of improvements and their episodic nature suggest that the evaluation of social prescribing interventions requires both quantitative and qualitative data collected longitudinally.

Social infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work. Briefing

AMBITION FOR AGEING
2019

This briefing highlights the importance of shared spaces to help reduce social isolation amongst older people as the population ages and austerity leads to more and more state responsibilities falling to civil society. Shared spaces could be public libraries, commercial spaces such as cafes or leisure facilities and parks and green spaces. The briefing explains how different kinds of shared spaces help support different types and levels of social capital. This can be between people who share a common bond as well as connections between diverse groups of people. The ability to build even weak social ties with a diversity of people can help provide bridges to new social worlds, helping older people feel more connected to the places in which they live and improving resilience. The briefing summarises findings from the report, 'Social Infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work' produced by MICRA as part of the Ambition for Ageing programme.

Social infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work

YARKER Sophie
2019

This report, from the Ambition for Ageing project, identifies how social infrastructure in neighbourhoods can promote social interaction and reduce social isolation for older people. Social infrastructure provides spaces and opportunities for people to have social interactions and build connections. The report argues there needs to be a diversity of social infrastructure to support different types and levels of social connection, and considers the importance of the connections made between diverse groups of people - also known as bridging capital. It also looks at the types of social infrastructure that facilitate this, which tend to be places that the majority of the community would have the opportunity to visit, such as public libraries, cafes and parks and open public spaces. Key points include: that shared spaces within neighbourhoods are vital for reducing social isolation for older people; that different kinds of social infrastructure help support different types and levels of social capital; and the need for social infrastructure that supports intergenerational and intercultural encounters. Despite its often informal nature, social infrastructure is not naturally occurring and therefore The report highlights the need for direct investment and support to help the development of the social infrastructure and the creation of third places.

Results 1 - 10 of 112

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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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