Overview

17 May, 20229:30 am-1:30 pm18 May, 20229:30 am-1:00 pm
Online Conference

In February 2021 there were an estimated 3.7 million chronically lonely adults in the UK, a number that has increased by over 1 million since the beginning of the pandemic (ONS, 2021). As Covid-19 restrictions have increased awareness of the importance of social and community connections, it is important we find ways of fostering these connections and providing people with the necessary support to tackle loneliness. This conference will provide a platform for sharing ideas on tackling loneliness across public, voluntary, housing, healthcare, and education sectors.

Join us for two half-days of discussing policy and best practice for preventing and tackling loneliness. You will have the opportunity to evaluate the latest policy from the DCMS on tackling loneliness, explore the latest research on loneliness in the UK and discuss how best to fight social isolation through social prescribing, and multi-agency working. Importantly, there will also be opportunities to consider how social isolation is affecting certain disadvantaged groups differently due to Covid-19, such as the elderly, young people, and BAME communities.

Key Features of an Online IG Event

  • Sector based networking and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
  • Topic based discussion groups

Key Speakers

Ravneet Virdi photo
Ravneet Virdi
Head of Tackling Loneliness
DCMS
James Sanderson photo
James Sanderson
Director of Personalised Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement
CEO, National Academy for Social Prescribing
Robin Hewings photo
Robin Hewings
Director
Campaign to End Loneliness

Agenda

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform
9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address
9:45 am
The Latest Policy from the DCMS on Tackling Loneliness

This session will provide an update on the latest policy developments and funding opportunities on tackling loneliness since the Government released the 2018 loneliness strategy and following the concerted effort to step up provision during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having set up the Tackling Loneliness Network and working in partnership across sectors, the DCMS aims to foster a whole society approach.

  • Evaluate what the Government is currently doing to achieve its three goals on tackling loneliness: reducing stigma, ensuring relationships and loneliness are always considered in policy making going forward, and improve the evidence base on loneliness
  • Explore the latest funding opportunities for projects to tackle loneliness, available through the Loneliness Engagement Fund, the Building Connections Fund, and the Tackling Loneliness With Transport Fund

This session will include time for questions.

Ravneet Virdi
Ravneet Virdi
Head of Tackling Loneliness
DCMS
Confirmed
10:15 am
Loneliness Following Covid-19: Evaluating the Data

The data released in the 2021 Loneliness Beyond Covid-19 report shows that throughout the pandemic the number of chronically lonely adults in the UK increased by 1 million. As of July 2021, it is estimated that there are 3.7 million chronically lonely adults in the UK, and risk factors include health, income, ethnicity, sexuality or gender identity. In light of the data set out in the report, the director of the campaign will be analysing the key areas on which to focus to tackle chronic loneliness in a post-Covid world.

  • Learn about the key groups who will need more support as restrictions ease, such as those with mobility barriers including mental and physical health problems, and the already disadvantaged who are now at greater risk of exclusion due to unemployment
  • Discuss what the future for the sector looks like, including to what extent hybrid support models will be effective, and what services will need to increase their capacity, such as social prescribing
  • Explore the positive lessons from the pandemic, such as the increased use of remote support services and increasing collaboration through data and resource sharing

This session will include time for questions.

Robin Hewings
Robin Hewings
Director
Campaign to End Loneliness
Confirmed
10:45 am
Break, Virtual Networking, and Live Delegate Meet-Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:05 am
In discussion: Overcoming Barriers for BAME People Experiencing Loneliness

The 2019 Barriers to Belonging report published by the British Red Cross and the Co-op showcased that BAME people are more likely to experience risk factors for loneliness, such as discrimination, and feelings of not belonging, and are also more likely to experience barriers to joining community groups and accessing support, such as language barriers, lack of time, poverty, or poor access to public transport. These barriers mean it is essential for us to re-think and design support to suit the needs of BAME people.

Three years after the publication of the report, its writers reflect on progress made and steps ahead, taking into consideration how the pandemic has changed the picture.

  • Examine why BAME people are at greater risk of loneliness, and the barriers to them accessing support, including cultural differences which may mean some community activities are not appropriate (e.g., volunteers coming into the home to cook for isolated elderly family members)
  • Explore how to adapt community resources to overcome barriers, including through school curriculums, employers, and multi-agency projects to improve infrastructure in a meaningful way
  • Discuss the additional challenges the pandemic has presented, as well as new opportunities to connect through digital medias, and how this can be best be utilised for the benefit of BAME communities

This session will include time for questions.

Ruwaida Adam Mohammed
Ruwaida Adam Mohammed
Co-Chair, Rise Network
Co-op
Invited
Paul Amadi
Paul Amadi
Chief Supporter Officer
Red Cross
Invited
11:45 am
The Role of the NHS: Tackling Loneliness Through Personalised Care

Through the new personalised care model, the NHS aims to give people more autonomy to tailor their experience of health and care to their needs and the outcomes that matter most to them. Community-based support and social prescribing will play a key role in helping to build community resilience and improving mental and physical health. This plan recognises the value of social connections and the need to tackle health inequalities through boosting people’s ability to find the resources and support they need, for themselves.

This session will cover how the personalised care model and social prescribing are key elements in the fight against loneliness.

  • Explore how NHS services provide help for lonely and marginalised community members, including through social prescribing link workers who are best placed to boost people’s skills and confidence to find the support they need
  • Evaluate the need for developing social prescribing within your local area, and the recruitment goals for link workers
  • Learn how moving towards a personalised care model is a key step towards tackling loneliness and ensuring that each individual receives the care they need
  • Gain an understanding of the NHS’s plan for a connected approach, and how plans to refer 900,000 people to social prescribing by 2024 will boost community resilience

This session will include time for questions.

James Sanderson
James Sanderson
Director of Personalised Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement
CEO, National Academy for Social Prescribing
Confirmed
12:15 pm
Case Study: Combating Loneliness through Local Authority Funded Digital Solutions in Hampshire

Hampshire County Council has recently provided over £500,000 in grants to local projects combatting loneliness, with a particular focus on providing support to older people who have found themselves isolated due to lockdowns, digital exclusion, and fear of Covid-19. This session will cover the key role local authorities can play in coordinating local action to tackle loneliness.

  • Examine the funding model Hampshire County Council has used to allocate funds to local projects
  • Discuss the role local authorities should play in tackling loneliness, through funding and through partnership working
  • Explore the key importance of improving digital connectivity, and the potential digital solutions have to prevent loneliness in the elderly in the current pandemic environment

This session will include time for questions.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst
Cllr Liz Fairhurst
Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health
Hampshire County Council
Invited
12:45 pm
Workshop: The Frome Model for Tackling Loneliness: Combining Compassionate Community Care with Medical Practice

The Frome model was recently featured in the New York Times, and is based on the evidence that improving social connectedness is the most effective way of improving health and longevity. Whilst emergency hospital admissions across Somerset have risen in the last three years, the Compassionate Frome project has helped to reduce emergency admissions in Frome by 30%. With emergency admissions accounting for 20% of the healthcare budget, this intervention is not only effective at reducing loneliness, but cost-effective. In this session we will be breaking down what the Frome model looks like and discussing how a similar model could be implemented within your community.

Key learnings outcomes:

  • Learning how Frome mapped the support resources available in the community, ensured the information was communicated effectively and inclusively, and how they then used the research to fill service gaps
  • Learn how devolved responsibility from the local CCG allowed Frome to allocate funds effectively and build community resources that could eventually become self-sustaining
  • Evaluate the importance of having both citizen and professional connectors which allows relationships to become reciprocal and social prescribing to happen at scale

This session will include time for questions.

Jenny Hartnoll
Jenny Hartnoll
Service Lead
Health Connections Mendip
Invited
1:25 pm
Chair's Close to Day 1
9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform
9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address
9:40 am
Tackling Youth Loneliness in the Covid-19 Recovery Period

Research by the ONS has showed that young people were more likely to experience loneliness in lockdown, and over 70% of young people have said they felt lonely in the past year (Jo Cox Foundation, 2021). As we emerge from lockdowns into a new normal it is essential that young people’s experiences of loneliness are considered in policy-making, and that schools and higher education institutions are equipped with the tools to support young people. In this session, we will discuss the work of the Jo Cox Foundation alongside young people and the education sector to tackle youth loneliness.

  • Examine the outcomes of the Jo Cox Foundation’s work with their youth panel, including insights into better understanding the causes of youth loneliness such as the role of social media
  • Learn about the need to partner with the education sector to tackle loneliness in young people and children and how this is a vital time to do so as most are returning to in-person education
  • Discuss the next steps for the campaign on youth loneliness as we approach Loneliness Awareness Week

This session will include time for questions.

Su Moore
Su Moore
CEO
The Jo Cox Foundation
Invited
10:10 am
Panel Discussion: How Can We Use Community Referrals to Tackle Loneliness for All?

Social prescribing is a key tenet of the government’s and NHS’s plans to tackle loneliness, offering solutions to social isolation outside of the primary care system. In order for social prescribing to work for all individuals there must be sufficient provision of community based groups and services, and strong networks and partnerships between public, voluntary, and primary care organisations. Our panellists will discuss how to achieve this balance.

  • How to strike the balance between investing in referral mechanisms and community support groups to ensure that referrals do not build up and individuals can access support in a timely manner
  • Discuss efficient multi-agency working between local authorities, CCGs, voluntary and community sectors to make sure information is shared between all stake holders and individuals can access support that best fits their needs and aspirations
  • Evaluate how to fill service gaps and build community resilience so that support services can become self-sustaining

Participate in the discussion through our live chat feature.

Sharon Hanoomansingh
Sharon Hanoomansingh
Public Health Strategist (Social Prescribing)
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Confirmed
Stephanie McKingley
Stephanie McKingley
London Social Prescribing Network Manager
London Plus
Invited
Dr Kathryn Cobain
Dr Kathryn Cobain
Director of Public Health
Worcestershire County Council
Invited
10:50 am
Break, Virtual Networking, and Live Delegate Meet-Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:10 am
Tackling Loneliness Among the Elderly in the Context of Covid-19

Age UK’s latest research on loneliness published in December 2021 shows that Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have had a significant impact on elderly people’s ability and confidence in connecting with their communities and living independently. As the pandemic forced most support services to go digital, many elderly people were left unable to access community groups, as 40% of those over 75 do not use the internet. This barrier was particularly present for the 2.1 million pensioners living in poverty, disproportionately likely to be female and from BAME backgrounds.

This session will serve to review the available data on loneliness among the elderly, as well as highlighting policy recommendations to tackle this issue, particularly in the context of the pandemic.

  • Evaluate the need for loneliness support for the elderly, through determining risk factors and evaluating whom digital support might miss
  • Examine key recommendations to improve support for the elderly, for example through digital inclusion, to aid the most vulnerable who are not online to access digital skills training and support, as well as affordable devices and broadband
  • Learn about the crucial benefits of providing suitable, affordable and reliable transport for the elderly in order to help them stay connect, for example through a flexible multi-model concessionary transport scheme

This session will include time for questions.

John Palmer
John Palmer
Director of Policy and Communications
Independent Age
Invited
11:40 am
Case Study: Healthy Libraries for an Inclusive Connected Community in Norfolk

As a large rural county, Norfolk’s vulnerable residents can easily become socially isolated. For this reason the library service has been running a Healthy Libraries scheme since 2015, aiming to connect people through a range of initiatives and activities. This includes mobile library provision for those who are housebound, and has evolved to target groups with poor participation rates, such as developing a group for men which launched during the pandemic.

This session will examine the key steps taken to achieve an inclusive Healthy Libraries service.

  • Examine how the transition to digital provision during the pandemic has allowed the library service to re-think their service provision for groups they previously were not reaching, such as those with poor access to transport
  • Explore how to identify and reach at risk groups who do not typically take part in community activities, through providing different activities and different modes of participation
  • Discuss the role of partnerships in ensuring libraries are a space to connect the community, and consider the partnerships you may want to develop with your local library

This session will include time for questions.

Jill Terrell
Jill Terrell
Head of Norfolk Library and Information Service
Norfolk County Council
Invited
12:25 pm
An Update from the Red Cross: Designing a Loneliness-Proofed Future

The Red Cross has been researching loneliness and related issues in the UK since 2016. Its work alongside government, businesses, and third sector organisations endeavours to ensure loneliness is made a priority in both policy and practice. In this session explore the latest recommendations to step from the Red Cross’s research, particularly around the need for a “Connected Recovery” from Covid-19, how this can be achieved through multi-agency working, and why this partnered and connected approach is key to ending loneliness.

  • Examine the need for strong government commitment to prioritising connections in order to build community resilience, through a cross-government approach and long-term, sustainable funding
  • Learn about the vital role of local authorities in developing local action plans, which should invest in both community infrastructure, and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector, key to social prescribing
  • Explore the need to take loneliness into account when designing and updating transport, housing, and community infrastructure

This session will include time for questions.

Suzanne Foster
Suzanne Foster
Head of Public Affairs and External Relations
Red Cross
Invited
Huda Ali
Huda Ali
Senior Adviser, Tackling Loneliness & Connecting Communities
Red Cross
Invited
12:55 pm
Chair's Close to the Conference

Audience

This Conference is specifically designed for Local Authorities, Central Government and the Voluntary Sector as well as the Housing, and Social Care Sectors. Typical job titles will include:

  • Chief Executives
  • Community Engagement/Outreach Managers
  • Head of Policy and Public Affairs
  • Health and Well-being Divisions
  • Heads of Care and Community Services
  • Safeguarding Managers
  • Service and Commissioning Managers
  • Directors of Ageing/Social Impact
  • Public Health Leads/Managers
  • Neighbourhood Investment Officer
This Forum is also open to the wider Public and Private Sectors to encourage debate and networking.

Pricing