If you are keen to help tackle loneliness in your neighbourhood, we’ve compiled a range of free materials that you can use to reach people and let them know about the services available to them.
- Printable resources such as leaflets that you can print off and put through people’s letterboxes, or hand out at public meetings, or distribute at public places such as GP surgeries and libraries. Other people with strong community connections, such as hairdressers and shopkeepers, or faith leaders, might also be willing to hand these out.
- Online resources such as websites, videos and infographics that you can forward to people by email or share on social media such as your Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group or app.
- A Powerpoint presentation that you can use to launch a public meeting about the issue.
- A suggested campaign action plan. You don’t need to follow this to the letter, but it gives an idea of how to use the various toolkit materials as part of a multi-week campaign.
- A template cover letter that you can use to raise awareness of loneliness, and this information pack/toolkit, with your Neighbourhood Watch members, by email or as a Facebook post.
Here’s an example of the information handed out to householders during the Great Wirral Door Knock. You could prepare something similar for your neighbourhood that lists the services run by organisations in your area. Neighbourhood Watch has produced a template leaflet listing some examples of the types of services available to combat loneliness – you could edit this and fill in some more detail about your local services. Your local council or local Age UK should be able to help with phone numbers and website links. Download the leaflet in the Downloads section below.
The Big Lunch has prepared a Conversation Menu to help get the small talk flowing at community events – they advise handing these out at as people arrive.
- Older people’s charity Independent Age is offering to send their new Wise Guides on Loneliness to anyone over 65 who want to receive tips about keeping well in older age, including preventing loneliness. For free copies, call 020 7605 4225 or order online here.
- Better Health-Every Mind Matters is a campaign to support the nation’s mental wellbeing, showing the little things we can all do and how these can make a big difference; helping us to lead happier, healthier lives and cope with life’s challenges.At the heart of the campaign is the free, NHS-approved Mind Plan. By answering five simple questions online, adults will get a personalised mental health action plan with practical tips for helping deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
- ‘Be More Us’ is a campaign from the Campaign to End Loneliness, which aims to promote more interaction between people. The website, which contains 10 top tips for connecting with others, can be found here, and the touching campaign video is here. There’s also a heartwarming blog from 85-year-old Tommy who refused to let loneliness overcome him after retirement.
- There’s loads of advice here from the Eden Project about running a community event such as a Big Lunch.
- Channel 4 News has produced a film called ‘What does it feel like to be old and alone?’ featuring interviews with lonely older people.
- Youtube has some films about The Posh Club that will make you smile – and want to go along! View one here.
- Radio presenter Malavika Varadan has done a TEDx Talk offering her ‘7 ways making a conversation with anyone’.
- Safe Senior Care have written a useful article on 7 Types of Elder Abuse and How to Recognise the Abuse of Seniors