Learn how are out staff are looking to tackle loneliness and isolation in our communities.
Abbey Whittingham, Digital Communications Assistant at Weaver Vale Housing Trust said:
“Over the last 10 months, the Trust has run an internal development programme called ASPIRE for staff who want to develop their skills and knowledge within the business.
“We were spilt into groups, with colleagues from all different parts of the Trust and had to choose a project we were keen to work on
My group was made up of staff from our Communications, Income, Cotswold House, Open Spaces and Learning and Development teams. We discussed all the different projects and decided to go with Tenant Loneliness and Isolation.
We all picked this project for different reasons; personally I wanted to try something different to my day job, as the other projects were very digital based and I wanted to see how I could use my skills to have an impact on a very customer focused project.
We did lots of research for this project and It was really eye opening to see all the statistics that linked to people feeling Isolated and lonely.
Socially isolated people are:
- 3.4 times more likely to suffer depression
- 1.8 times more likely to visit a GP
- As harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
Our aim was to explore social isolation and loneliness, with the aim of developing relationships with third sector partners and promoting these opportunities and resources to our customers. We also wanted to build awareness across the Trust of the issues regarding isolation and loneliness and make the information easily accessible for all staff to support our customers.
Caroline Lambert, Business Support Assistant at from Cotswold House said:
“I found it really interesting, but also quite upsetting to learn more about the statistics and facts regarding loneliness and the impact this can have on a person’s life.
“I was keen to set our project on this topic as I know loneliness is an issue for the residents we have at Cotswold House. The majority of residents at Cotswold are aged from 16-30, which shows that loneliness can affect people of all ages.. I have also had experience of how loneliness and isolation can affect a person’s mental and physical health, and the knock- on affect that it can have on other areas and aspects of their lives.
“Raising awareness of loneliness and isolation is a fantastic thing as it gets people talking, and hopefully gets people thinking about who made need support – it could be their neighbours, friends and family.
“Since our project has ended, I have been making more of a conscious effort to spend a few more minutes of my day talking to people I meet, whether that is my neighbours or fellow shoppers. A smile and a friendly comment costs nothing, but a positive interaction adds value to myself and hopefully the recipient!.”