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Results for 'social networks'

Results 1 - 10 of 28

The place of kindness: combating loneliness and building stronger communities

FERGUSON Zoe
2017

Reports on the second stage of a project to explore what can encourage kinder communities at a time when isolation and loneliness are recognised as major challenges. The project was carried out by the Carnegie UK Trust with the support of Joseph Rowntree Foundation, It worked with seven organisations in Scotland over a period of nine months, exploring the importance of places and opportunities to connect, and the intrinsic values that underpin interactions and relationships. This report identifies examples which show how kindness and everyday relationships can affect change and support the wellbeing of individuals and communities. It also identifies key factors that get in the way of encouraging kindness both in individuals and organisations. These include real and imagined rules relating to risk; funders and policy makers valuing the formal and organisational over the informal and individual; and modern definitions of professionalism and good leadership obscuring every day and intuitive human interactions. Examples of the work carried out by the seven organisations are included in the appendices.

A summary of Age UK's Index of Wellbeing in Later Life

GREEN Marcus, et al
2017

The Wellbeing in Later Life Index, developed by Age UK and the University of Southampton, provides a measure to assess the wellbeing of older people in the UK. The measure looked at wellbeing across 40 indicators covering five key areas – social, personal (living arrangements, thinking skills, family status), health, financial and environmental. This report summarises the work carried out to develop the index and presents results of an analysis of data from 15,000 people aged 60. It provides a picture of older people’s wellbeing across the population and factors that contributed to people having the highest and lowest wellbeing scores. The analysis found that a range of factors under each of the key areas play a part in contributing to a person’s overall sense of wellbeing in later life. It also identified a large gap between older people with the highest and lowest wellbeing. The results identified the importance of being engaged in the world around you, whether through social or creative or physical activities or belonging to a community group. Other domains also played a supporting role, as adequate income, good health, good social network, and access to local facilities make it easier to participate in society. Those in the lowest wellbeing group were more likely to report being on means-tested benefits, having poor health and low satisfaction with local services.

Introduction to the research on: what works to improve social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems

HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
2017

This short scoping review identifies research into what works to improve the social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems. Searches for the review were conducted on organisational websites and a range of databases, including Social Care Online, for UK based research published from 2000. The review provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 24 studies reviewed and their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review found that the evidence around effectiveness of interventions to prevent loneliness and social isolation is patchy and findings are inconsistent. However, there is evidence to show that staff can play a key role in facilitating social networks and that activity-based interventions - such as horticulture, sport and learning - can increase social networks and reduce social isolation. The review also found that befriending may be beneficial to peoples’ mental health, but that there is inconclusive evidence on the impact of peer support.

The shed effect: stories from shedders in Scotland

AGE SCOTLAND
2017

This report outlines the positive impact that the growing men’s shed movement is having on later life, and how it is improving men’s health and wellbeing. It gathered individual stories, experiences and observations from 8 men’s sheds, recording 30 individual conversations with shedders, to find out why sheds work for them. It also held 2 conversations with shed supporters. Using direct quotations from the conversations, the report looks at the following themes: how people got involved in their shed; what makes the shed work for them; the importance of sheds as a place to develop new skills and knowledge; the social, health and welfare benefits – including the development of friendships and reduction in loneliness and social isolation; and the positive impact on communities, such as helping other community groups and promoting connections between the generations. The personal stories may be helpful in promoting the benefits of sheds other men and other communities, raising awareness of the shed movement amongst the general public, and providing funders and policy makers with a better understanding of the importance of men’s sheds’ importance, and of why they should continue to value and support them.

Local community initiatives in Western Bay: formative evaluation summary report

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY
2016

An evaluation of the early implementation of Local Area Coordination (LAC) and Local Community Coordination (LCC) in Neath Port Talbot and Swansea, covering recruitment and initial delivery activities between July 2015 and April 2016. The initiative used both LAC and LCC coordinators to help communities to develop local relationships and support, reduce dependence on services and create conditions for long-term resilience. The evaluation identifies positive outcomes for people, communities and local finances; highlights factors which help create the conditions for good outcomes; and provides recommendations for the development and improvement of LAC. The report also contains case study examples to show how the initiative was able to help individuals. The results of the evaluation found good progress in both LAC and LCC areas, including community engagement, identifying community assets and individuals for support. It also found LAC helped development of strong and sustained personal networks for individuals and communities, reducing isolation and helping to build local resilience. The LAC implementation in Swansea demonstrated cost benefits of £800k - £1.2m, with expected benefits to rise when LAC is embedded more fully within communities. Findings and recommendations are listed across a number of key themes, including: strategy, funding, shared learning, leadership, information recording, recruitment and roles, cost benefits.

Social isolation in mental health: a conceptual and methodological review: scoping review 14

WANG Jingyi, et al
2016

Social isolation and related terms such as loneliness have been increasingly discussed in the field of mental health. However, there is a lack of conceptual clarity and consistency of measurement of these terms and understanding of overlaps. This report provides definitions and brief explanations of relevant conceptual terms from the literature, and proposed a conceptual model covering different aspects of social isolation. Aspects of social isolation covered include loneliness, social support, social network, social capital, confiding relationships, and alienation. The conceptual model contains five domains to include all elements of current conceptualisations. These five domains are: social network: quantity; social network: structure; social network: quality; appraisal of relationships: emotional; appraisal of relationships: resources. It then proposes well established measures in the field of mental health for each conceptual domains of social isolation. The authors discuss the strengths and limitations of the approach. The developed model can help researchers and intervention developers to identify expected outcomes of interventions precisely and choose the most appropriate measures for use in mental health settings.

The benefits of making a contribution to your community in later life

JONES Dan, YOUNG Aideen, REEDER Neil
2016

Reviews existing evidence on the benefits for older people of volunteering and making unpaid contributions to their communities in later life. The report covers ‘community contributions’ to refer to this whole spectrum of unpaid activity, including individual acts of neighbourliness, peer support, formal volunteering and involvement in civic participation. The report looks the state of the current evidence base; the main areas of benefit for volunteering in later life, who currently benefits from volunteering and in what circumstances. The review identifies good evidence that older people making community contributions can lead to benefits in: the quantity and quality of their social connections; an enhanced sense of purpose and self-esteem; and improved life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing. The evidence was less clear on the impact on health, employment and social isolation. The review also found that people aged 50 with fewer social connections, lower levels of income and education, and poorer health may have the most to gain from helping others. However, the people most likely to volunteer are those who are already relatively wealthy, in good physical and mental health, and with high levels of wellbeing and social connections. The report makes recommendations for organisations, funders and commissioners working with older volunteers. These included: maximise the benefits of volunteering by focusing on engaging older people who are relatively less well connected, less wealthy and less healthy; avoid an over reliance on volunteering alone to tackle serious issues related to physical health, frailty, social isolation or employability; and ensure that older people engaged in volunteering have meaningful roles, with opportunities for social interaction.

Community action programme: literature search

NGUYEN Hong-Anh, MAGGS Deena
2015

This bibliography contains the results of a literature search on community action. The search used a wide range of search terms across a number of different sources of evidence, including health and social care databases, social sciences / social welfare, economics, public administration and relevant grey literature (including trade and mainstream press). The body of research on community action in public services covers a vast array of concepts involving and including community/user involvement and engagement; community empowerment; co-production, co-creation and collaboration in service design and delivery; how social networks and personal relationships contribute to community resilience; and the evaluation and assessment of these processes. The results of this literature search have been organised thematically to broadly reflect these issues and recent models of delivery, such as the Big Society or place-based services.

Kinder communities: the power of everyday relationships

FERGUSON Zoe
2016

This discussion paper explores the evidence on the impact of everyday relationships and kindness on individual and societal wellbeing, and community empowerment, and develops a theory of change. The paper sets out what maintaining connections and acting in kindness means and how these relate to concepts such as social capital, ‘random acts of kindness’, resilience, isolation and loneliness. Drawing on the evidence, it explains why kinder communities are important, what are the enablers and barriers, and what is happening currently to strengthen everyday relationships and kinder communities, focusing on community development, interface with public services, building connections, assets based approaches and individual psychology. The paper includes seven case studies providing examples of good practice.

Access to outdoor recreation by older people in Scotland

COLLEY Kathryn, et al
2016

Scottish research study to examine the barriers preventing older people, including older people with long-term health conditions and disabilities, from accessing outdoor recreation opportunities. The research involved two stages: an investigation of the spatial distribution of older people using small-scale geographical units and semi-structured interviews with 27 older people across three case study sites of varying levels of urbanity and access to different types of green/blue natural resources. Results from the spatial distribution analysis found that remote areas and isolated small towns had higher concentrations of older people and older people with health problems or disabilities. It also identifies that the negative impacts on the well-being and resilience of local communities are also likely to be stronger in remote areas, with challenges in accessing medical and care facilities. The case study work found the barriers to participation in outdoor recreation by older people are multiple and inter-related. Key categories of barriers identified in the interviews were: poor health and (im)mobility; lack of or reduced social connections; fragility and vulnerability; lack of motivation and time commitments; safety; and weather and season. Key implications for policy and practice identified from the research include: for interventions to address the multiple and interrelated barriers preventing older people from participating in outdoor recreation, using integrated and holistic approaches involving different organisations; for ‘green prescribing’ by doctors and medical professionals to be integrated with existing initiatives (eg walking groups) which offer opportunities for overcoming social and motivational barriers; and for interventions to identify ways of providing transport access to outdoor spaces to older people.

Results 1 - 10 of 28

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