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Local action tackling Loneliness and Isolation across Derbyshire

02/11/2018

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network has today launched a report on the findings of the conference it held over the summer. The launch of the report, Turning the TIDE: Tackling Isolation and Loneliness in Derbyshire Eventcoincides with national Befriending Week 2018.

The ‘Turning the TIDE’ conference in July brought together a wide range of organisations and groups in order to hear about the great work that has taken place across Derbyshire to tackle loneliness and isolation but to also look at the issues and obstacles facing service providers and service users, and then come up with some solutions.

The main findings from the Turning the TIDE conference were that:

·         there is a great demand across the county which isn’t being met and this is only likely to increase because of an ageing population and the increase in loneliness and isolation for people with more complex needs, such as dementia and mental health;

·         the lack of funding – and funding coming to an end – will mean that fewer people in Derbyshire will be able to access support so this will result in an increase in the number and extent of lonely and isolated people across the county;

·         there are opportunities to provide services / activities that tackle loneliness and isolation but new ways of working by everyone will be needed. This will include:

o   working with funders to safeguard and grow provision of services in Derbyshire

o   improving the way we work together within communities and across sectors to share information about what is available

o   building on existing models to develop new befriending models based on evidence of what works (groups, peer led, social media, telephone etc.)

o   encouraging more people to give time to address loneliness & isolation

o   exploring new funding models.

Please click here to open the TIDE report.

The Turning the TIDE report builds on the research that was carried out into the value and impact of befriending services in Derbyshire launched in November 2017, which showed that people receiving support from befriending services say that it reduces isolation and improves their social and community connections, independence and wellbeing. It also showed that for every £1 spent on providing these services the social benefits and cost savings to other services are worth £8.59To read the research report visit: https://sdcvs.org.uk/images/Befriending_Research/DTBN_Report_FINAL_web.pdf.

The launch of the Turning the TIDE report is also well timed as the government has just launched its ‘Loneliness Strategy’ which shows its commitment to improving understanding of loneliness, embedding loneliness across government policy, and building a national conversation on loneliness. This is a welcome development and the DTBN has released its response to the Strategy.  To find out what it has to say about the Strategy visit South Derbyshire CVS’s website: https://sdcvs.org.uk/news?id=345.

So what happens now? Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network wants to work with local communities and decision makers to make sure we maintain and build on the good work that has taken place to date. BUT WE NEED TO TAKE COLLECTIVE ACTION NOW before we lose services and let many lonely and isolated people down.

How you can help

o    Do you have ideas about how we could tackle loneliness and isolation?

o    Can you give your time as a volunteer at one of the befriending projects?

o    Do you have a pot of money that could help deliver projects?

o    Do you design services and want to work with us to ensure there is consistent offer across Derbyshire?

Richard Murrell, DTBN Co-ordinator said:

“We know that befriending services are a vital part of people’s lives all over Derbyshire which help to make sure that they are not lonely or isolated. The Turning the TIDE report highlights this great work and adds to the research carried out last year that helped make the financial case for investment in these amazing services.”

“While both of these reports help us to better understand the issues, we need organisations and groups to actively play their part in providing the solutions to tackle loneliness and isolation - so we are putting out a ‘call to action’ to ask everyone to work with us in helping people across Derbyshire. This will then help the government to deliver its Loneliness Strategy”.

Contact Richard on 01283 219761 or email: richm@sdcvs.org.uk to find out more. 

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