Stakeholders’ ideas for tackling loneliness in Wales through the pandemic and beyond

In July 2021, the Wales Centre for Public Policy worked in partnership with Kaleidoscope Health and Care to run a multifaceted engagement programme involving stakeholders working to tackle loneliness and enhance wellbeing in Wales and beyond. The programme included a two-day digital event (14th and 15th July) and a stakeholder survey. Participants reflected on their experience of the event in a series of blogs and video blogs.

The engagement aimed to showcase existing work to tackle loneliness and how this has evolved through the pandemic, as well as understand the issues, priorities, challenges and needs of decision-makers in Wales committed to a wellbeing-led recovery.

The report from the digital event summarises the two days of discussion, during which stakeholders identified five areas of action crucial to tackling loneliness in Wales through the pandemic and beyond:

  • The role of technology in tackling loneliness
  • The role of communities in tackling loneliness
  • The experience of vulnerable groups
  • Managing the transition from Covid-19
  • Improving collaboration and collective ways of working

Under each area of action, participants at the event offered a series of ideas for action which could be taken by stakeholders across Wales, including the need to tackle digital exclusion, blend online and offline services in the recovery from Covid-19, develop infrastructure to support social connection, work with communities to enhance the sustainability of community services that support wellbeing, reduce stigma by reframing loneliness as a common and shared experience, support people access the services they need, and share learning and develop the evidence-base on what works to tackle loneliness.

The highlights pack provides a recap of the engagement programme, including the results of the stakeholder survey, a detailed overview of how the discussion developed over the two days, and recordings of the key speakers who showcased a cross-section of work being undertaken to tackle loneliness across Wales and the UK.

The engagement programme also resulted in two blogs and a video capturing participants’ personal reflections on the event, what they learnt from it, and how they might apply what they learnt going forwards. We heard from:

  • Rachel Gegeshiaze, Programme Manager for Wales, Tempo Time Credits
  • Simon Hewett-Avison, Director of Services, Independent Age
  • Sian Davies, Head of Strategic Programmes, Mencap Cymru
  • Alison Wood, Senior Engagement Officer (loneliness and social isolation), Welsh Government – see blog here
  • Lyndsay McNicholl, Care Home Manager, Carmarthenshire County Council – see blog here