With more people feeling the effects of loneliness over the past year following lockdown restrictions and social distancing, there has never been a more urgent need to find innovative ways to fight loneliness and build a more connected society.
To provide a platform for local authorities, specialist charities and housing associations to come together, reflect on the impact of lockdown on loneliness across the UK and find new ways to help those most vulnerable to build connections, on 25th and 26th May, the 6th Annual Tackling Loneliness Conference will return online.
Here, we explore what you can expect from the two-day conference in more detail.
DCMS Policy Update - Tackling Loneliness: Building A Connected Society
Ramona Herdman, Director of Loneliness at DCMS will share updates from the Loneliness Annual Report – January 2021, and highlight practical tips from last years Let’s Talk Loneliness Campaign, launched during the Covid-19 pandemic to support people to talk more openly about loneliness and isolation.
Learning from lockdown to tackle loneliness in the long-term
According to the Office for National Statistics, 3.7m over-16s in Britain often or always feel lonely, rising from one in twenty early in the pandemic last spring to one in forty. The impact of Covid-19 on loneliness has evidently been huge, but how can we learn from this to help address loneliness and isolation in the long term?
You’ll join Robin Hewings, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research at the Campaign to End Loneliness, sharing practical strategies to help you support those people suffering from loneliness both before and during the pandemic, discuss the challenges that still lie ahead and the next steps that need to be taken in the journey to end loneliness.
How to work in partnership to tackle loneliness at a time of crisis
In order to effectively tackle loneliness, it is vital for local authorities, healthcare providers and voluntary organisations to harness resources and work together to prevent more people suffering at the hands of this preventable epidemic.
Olivia Field, Head of Health and Resilience Policy at the British Red Cross, will explore the work they have conducted in partnership with Co-op to support the APPG on Loneliness to ensure people are supported to make meaningful social connections.
Learn how to create meaningful connections and prevent isolation in your community
Discuss your recent challenges in tackling loneliness during the pandemic, evaluate on the lessons learnt during this time and how this can be applied to prevent loneliness in the future. Our breakout discussion rooms, led by Su Moore from the Jo Cox Foundation, will provide a platform to explore the importance of maintaining connections as we look at returning to a post pandemic sense of normality, learning from the Connection Coalition.
Learn how to prevent loneliness by supporting digital access and inclusion
Keeping people connected and delivering essential digital services to those most vulnerable has been fundamental during Covid-19. Jessica Davies from Suffolk County Council will be on hand to offer practical insights into how they worked in partnership to deliver 5,000 video carephone devices to keep those at risk connected during the outbreak, sharing the lessons learnt from providing digital access during this time and how we can use this to inform future care technology.
Here is what our previous delegates had to say:
This is our 6th Annual Tackling Loneliness Conference, so we reached to some of our previous delegates to get their feedback on the day. Here is what they had to say:
Good event in difficult circumstances - very hard to deliver what we are used to remotely, but organisers did a good job
Director of Strategy & Business Development, The Myton Hospices
Extremely timely conference in the middle of Covid 19. A good range of speakers with opportunities to learn about innovative ways of working at a time when social isolation is so relevant.
Bicester Team Engagement and Liaison Officer, Cherwell District Council
A very informative and clearly thought out training course covering loneliness in all areas of the community giving information and ideas to help develop this within your own service.
Supporting Hands Service Co-ordinator, Rennie Grove Hospice Care
The event was very well organised and structured. Really good to hear about the various initiatives that are taking place nationally and some of the challenges.
Manager Adult Social Care, City of Wolverhampton Council
Great event, a good range of speakers, with relevant information and links to reports/ evaluations etc shared. All speakers had great knowledge, could answer questions on the spot and all shared contact details for any help going forward. Really useful to have links shared throughout the event.
Volunteer Coordinator, Mind in Bradford
The event was very well organised with a range of speakers that made it very informative. Given the virtual nature the conference was well run, and technical issues were minimalised.
Community Services Manager, Maghull Town Council
A great day dedicated to gaining a better understanding of loneliness, especially in light of the covid pandemic. Fantastic speakers and case studies to inspire everyone. Wellbeing Advisor, Mid Sussex Wellbeing Team
We still have places available for this year's conference, you can register online here.