Neighbourhood natter: 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 partner, Play Well for Life, this project will collect market data, feedback and implementation insights on this concept which will support commercialisation and impact of the social science insights and co-designed ideas.
Professor David Frohlich
Director - Digital World Research Centre, Research Director & Impact Officer - Department of Music and Media, Professor of Interaction Design
David Frohlich is Director of Digital World Research Centre at the University of Surrey and Professor of Interaction Design.
He joined the Centre in January 2005 to establish a new research agenda on new media innovation with social benefit. Current work includes a mixture of PhD and Research Council projects exploring digital storytelling, personal media collections and augmented paper (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/dwrc/). Prior to joining Digital World, David worked for 14 years as a senior research scientist at HP Labs, conducting design research on the future of mobile, domestic and photographic technology.
He has contributed numerous studies and patents to the field of digital photography, as indicated in two recent books entitled 'From snapshots to social media: The changing picture of domestic photography' (2011 with Sarvas) and 'Fast design, slow innovation: Audiophotography ten years on' (2016). His current work is focussed on assistive media for health and wellbeing, especially for an older population.
David has a PhD in psychology from the University of Sheffield and post-doctoral training in Conversation Analysis from the University of York. He is currently visiting researcher in the Department of Gerontology, at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil (UFSCAR). David has also held visiting positions at the Royal College of Art, and the Universities of York, Manchester, Sydney (UTS) and Melbourne, and is founding editor of the international journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.
This ESRC IAA Project is a partnership between The University of Surrey and Play Well for Life.
Impact will be measured by the findings from the trial and the benefits delivered to participants, using validated measures of loneliness and social belonging and from qualitative data from trial participants. It will also be measured by the buy in of stakeholders and Play Well for Life for subsequent development.
Impact Acceleration Account awarded projects
Our projects are all playing their part in turning social science research outcomes into meaningful impact that will touch our lives and communities.