Essex Partners worked with the Young Foundation to further its understanding of social isolation and loneliness in Halstead, Essex, by focusing on the ways in which people are connected, the facilities and services they do access, and the extent to which they feel isolation or loneliness are issues in their community.
Social isolation and loneliness are increasing public health concerns across the UK. Recent research has shown that:
- Lacking social connections is a comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Loneliness has a worse impact on health outcomes than well-known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity
- Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.
The Halstead Connected project, delivered with local partners with deep connections into the local community: Braintree District Council; Community360; Greenfields Community Housing and Essex County Council, has produced a detailed understanding of the groups within the community feeling isolated and lonely, the factors leading to isolation.
As part of Halstead Connected, Essex Partners worked to support local people and organisations to address social isolation and loneliness in diverse and creative ways, through promoting better connections locally.