Most people, young and old, feel lonely from time to time. This is normal, and even healthy. It can be a prompt for action, a reminder to make contact with other people and to create or reaffirm connections. Where it can become a problem is if people become isolated through circumstances beyond their control, and if feelings of loneliness become entrenched, or persist for a long time.
Nearly one million people in the UK say they feel lonelier at Christmas. With the Christmas season emphasising family, togetherness and merriment, the absence of these features can be painfully accentuated.
‘Feeling Connected’ is a partnership project led by Derbyshire Voluntary Action which aims to improve local approaches to social connectedness in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. Over the next two years, it will:
- Raise the profile of the benefits of being socially connected
- Raise awareness of existing services which support social connectedness
- Identify interventions, initiatives and activities which help people to feel socially connected and which could be further supported and developed in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.
The first phase of the project is to better understand the ways in which local residents keep themselves socially connected and the challenges and barriers people experience which can lead to them losing their connections and becoming isolated.
Jacqui Willis, Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s Chief Executive, explains, “We want as many local people as possible to complete our residents’ survey. Please help us by spreading the word and encouraging the people you come into contact with through your work and volunteering to take part.”
The Feeling Connected Residents’ survey can be downloaded from Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s website https://www.ndva.org.uk/our-projects/feelingconnected and completed online here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FeelingConnectedproject
Contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 01246 555908.