Facilitating local conversations to counter loneliness and social isolation.
Loneliness is a growing problem for older adults, with two million over 50s in the UK expected to experience loneliness by 2025/26. In a previous ESRC project we have explored the reasons underlying loneliness in a retirement community, listened to residents wishes for addressing it, and co-designed a new type of social media system for facilitating structured face-to-face conversations within a neighbourhood. With our company partner, Play Well for Life, we are now trialling a working prototype called Neighbourhood Natter with residents of Whiteley Village retirement community. This trial will deliver market data, user feedback and implementation insights on this concept to support commercialisation and impact.
The project is funded by the University of Surrey ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) at a cost of £19,972. The project will run from 14 November 2022 to 28 February 2023.
Frohlich D.M., Benn D., Campbell S. & Booker-Price T. (2023) Neighbourhood Natter: Facilitating local conversations to counter loneliness and social isolation. Abstract under review.