‘People need people’ – Exploring the role of neighbourhoods in addressing loneliness

The second in the Health and Social Care Academy’s ‘Being Human’ series of podcasts seeks to explore an issue which has the potential to affect us all, in different ways and at different times in our lives – loneliness.

During the interview,Tracey Robbins, Programme Manager with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reflects on the insights generated by their ‘Neighbourhood Approaches to Loneliness’ programme.

This three year action research programme in four neighbourhoods set out to explore how communities could contribute to the well-being of people at risk of or experiencing loneliness; how they could play a central role in this activity; and how this involvement could in turn enhance community well-being.

Using asset-based community development approaches, local people were trained in participatory learning and action techniques to act as community researchers, with the aim of finding out what people thought caused loneliness where they lived. Around 2000 people were involved.

Tracey reflects on the issues raised by the programme, including the factors which can contribute to  loneliness, its impact on our health and wellbeing, and importantly how action lead by and for local communities has the potential to offer an effective, replicable and sustainable approach to prevention.

The podcast follows a recent Academy roundtable event held to explore the issue, and shape the ALLIANCE’s response to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee’s inquiry into age and social isolation.

Further information about the Neighbourhood Approaches to Loneliness programme, including a free resource pack available for download, can be found on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s website.


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