The last couple of weeks have seen us holding some fantastic sessions with our new Campaign ambassadors in the Midlands and the South East. We have been thrilled that such enthusiastic, committed and passionate people have come together to learn more about loneliness in older age, how it can be addressed and how to raise awareness about the issue back in their communities. We had an amazing range of participants; from local councillors and commissioners, to teachers, academics and concerned citizens from all walks of life.
The key aim of the new ambassadors’ initiative is for Campaign supporters to help ensure local government, charities and forums in their communities are better informed about loneliness and how it can be addressed. We at the Campaign believe that one of the best ways to reduce loneliness in our society is to ensure that people understand the issue more clearly; its pervasiveness, the harm that it can have on our health, and perhaps most importantly, how it can be tackled.
We hope that by equipping our ambassadors with valuable knowledge and resources, they feel empowered to go back into their communities and share this information with their friends, neighbours and colleagues, but also with service providers and with those who hold influence with key decision makers. In particular, we want to reach out to those who are charged with making decisions about the future of health and social care planning and spending in our communities.
We are very aware that addressing loneliness is complex. That it is a deeply personal and unique experience with different causes and consequences for every one of us. And we know that despite a wide and growing recognition of the substantial public health implications of loneliness and the urgent need to take action, there is a significant knowledge gap among funders and commissioners about what really works in addressing it.
We understand this and know that this is a problem our ambassadors, and anyone else in the community who campaigns on this issue, may come up against when trying to convince stakeholders to take action. So we have produced a range of resources that can support service providers and local authorities in addressing this issue.
- Our measurement tool and guidance, Measuring your impact on Loneliness in Later Life helps service providers evaluate and measure the impact service providers are having on reducing their clients’ loneliness
- Our report, Hidden Citizens: How can we identify the most lonely older adults? sums up the various strategies organisations across the country use to identify the most lonely and isolated older people. We are currently working on a range of tools to support services in this work
- Our online guidance for commissioners and local authorities looks in depth at how leaders in health and social care can take the lead on tackling loneliness in their area.
We are still in the early stages of rolling out this new initiative; however, we now have trained ambassadors across London, the South East and the Midlands. If your organisation is based in one of these areas and you would like a Campaign Ambassador to speak at an upcoming event, please get in touch with Marianne at the Campaign.