End Loneliness? Build Community!

If ‘how to end loneliness?’ is your question, community building is the answer.

Artist: Graham Ogilvie. Used with the kind permission of Aberdeen City Council

Artist: Graham Ogilvie. Used with the kind permission of Aberdeen City Council

Providing lonely people with services and programmes is not a substitute or an alternative. In fact not alone is it a poor proxy for community, it runs the risk of creating even more loneliness.

If a canary is dying in a coal mine; do you a) place a respirator on them, b) get them out of the mine, or c) stay there, but support them to radically change the conditions.

The first and second affords relief the last development.

Relief is short lived and in the long run often results in the opposite of what was intended. Ending loneliness is therefore contingent on building communities. And communities of place have a particularly critical contribution to make. 

End loneliness? Build community!

Cormac Russell

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  • Building stable relationships and encouraging elderly people to take part in their communities will ultimately reduce loneliness. Reconnections, the service ran by Age UK, based in worcestershire, aims to reduce social isolation by building connections between older people in later life. This service is also working with health professionals to refer lonely people, who are at risk of depression and other illness as a result of their loneliness, to get involved with Reconnections. All in all, they aim to end loneliness in later life by giving them the confidence to get involved with activities that suit them best.

    March 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm