Our external evaluation partner, NDTi, has completed a baseline report for our planned work from 2017 to 2020. This has taken into account the wider issue of loneliness, our past seven years of work and the what else is happening on loneliness across the country.
The report is part of a substantial body of evidence about the state of play on loneliness across the UK, which also includes the results of six workshops across the UK with 136 members of the public. This evidence has shaped the launch of Be More Us.
Like any baseline, its primary focus is to identify the current state of play so that we can effectively measure and demonstrate progress to 2020.
However, the baseline report, by gathering evidence on the state of play on loneliness across the UK in 2017, and also into three local areas of the UK, provides insights that may be useful to other organisations that are working to address loneliness or have an interest and a role in doing so.
Findings and recommendations
Understanding of the issue – In general, there is now a good level of understanding of loneliness as a problem, however:
- More needs to be known about how to address it.
- Efforts need to be made to broaden the range of individual and group methods of addressing loneliness beyond traditional interventions.
Addressing loneliness locally:
- There is a need to reflect local circumstances and local identities rather than transplanted from elsewhere.
- Greater attention must be paid to the role public spaces and community assets play in community wellbeing and addressing loneliness.
Shaping the policy landscape – We’ve achieved a lot in shaping the policy landscape around the health impacts of loneliness, but there remain evidence gaps that need to be filled on how loneliness affects individuals beyond their physical health. More needs to be done to:
- Understand combinations of strategic initiatives – rather than standalone initiatives – can achieve change.
- Understand how the impact different events over the life course can have on loneliness in later life.
- Broaden the range of stakeholders who understand they have a role in addressing loneliness at a local level, for example beyond health and social care organisation.
- Embed coproduction in the work of organisations working with older people.
Inspiring the public – there is an opportunity to build upon the high public awareness of the issue:
- to understand what motivates people to take action on loneliness.
- to build a deeper understanding of its complexities and how it impacts on different people.
Front line organisations:
- Need a greater and formalised pooling of knowledge, learning and resources within local communities.
- Can be better supported to be more consistent in how they measure their impact on loneliness to better support the identification of loneliness and sharing of good practice.
Building upon existing work with businesses and employers, the major opportunity is to alter how business practices, products and markets can impact upon individuals, communities and loneliness.
The Campaign is committed to achieving the main findings and recommendations. We are already part-funded and committed to working in collaboration with individuals and organisations in delivering our work to achieve the changes outlined below.
To find out more about our work, to partner with us, or get involved in making loneliness everyone’s business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Final Baseline Report November 2017.
Read the Baseline Report Appendices 1-5