We are currently running a project with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund ‘Building Connections’ called ‘Talking Works’. Following the Prime Minister’s wider endorsement of the Jo Cox Commission recommendations on Loneliness in January 2018, the Building Connections Fund has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness.
In our experience, in the local ‘Park Ward’ area of Halifax, there are two main types of situation that lead to acute loneliness, or social isolation. Firstly there are those who are living alone without any regular contact with relatives or close friends. More commonly, however, are reports of acute loneliness among older women who are living with close relatives; some feel isolated when their relationship with other family members is strained, and they have ceased making any attempt to engage with the older relative in a civil or friendly way.
This project is building on our existing work and enabling us to specifically tackle and increase our knowledge about strategies to reduce loneliness. One of the ways we are doing this, is to reach out and to provide door to door transport for older Asian women who live some distance outside the local, predominantly Asian, ‘Park Ward’ area. For these ladies whose loneliness comes from not having the frequency of contact with people from the same background/community, this can be a much needed lifeline.