Age UK Oxfordshire and the Campaign to End Loneliness hosted a two day, international conference at Merton College, Oxford on the 9th and 10th of July to share with researchers, policy makers and practitioners the latest robust evidence on loneliness from around the world.

The purpose of this event was to inform action by national governments, local authorities, communities and civil society, the academic research community, research funders and individuals themselves.

Responses from conference attendees:

  • “I always knew the importance of loneliness, now I have evidence to back up my approach”
  • “We can use this in our wider inclusion agenda – and it will be very useful for fundraising”
  • “We will consult with older people to find out their views, and re-commission and commission services in this area”
  • “We will carry out research in the domains already identified as requiring attention – this conference helped cement our belief that  gaps are there to be addressed”
  • “I will contact the Health and Wellbeing Board in my area about this issue”

The programme combined contributions from some of the leading academics in the field with several interactive sessions exploring specific themes including: who is most at risk? What are the health impacts? What works in reducing loneliness? How can we prevent loneliness in later life?

A full agenda for the event can be downloaded here

Presentations from speakers:

  • Ann Bowling, Professor of Health Sciences, Southampton University
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  • Vanessa  Burholt, Professor of Innovative Ageing, University of Swansea
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  • John T. Cacioppo, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor and Director, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago
  • Mima Cattan, Professor in Public Health (Knowledge Translation), Northumbria University
    Download
  • Julianne Holt Lunstad, Professor, Department of Pyschology, Bringham-Young University, Utah
    Download
  • Jenny de Jong Gierveld, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology and Social Gerontology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and Honorary Fellow, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The  Hague
    Download
  • Thomas Scharf, Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of  the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland, Galway
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  • Christina Victor, Professor of Public Health, School of Management and Health Studies, Brunel University
    Download

Workshop summaries:

There were a number of workshop discussions about research and evidence. Summaries from these workshops are here:

Investigating at risk groups
What works and with which groups
Assorted themes
Understanding loneliness – group discussions

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