New research projects secured for newly established Centre for Loneliness Studies

Andrea Wigfield and Sarah Alden have recently secured three new research projects for the newly established Centre for Loneliness Studies (formerly Care-Connect).

The projects represent the growing importance of loneliness research both in academia and in policy and practice. Two of the projects, both funded by the British Red Cross and Co-op aim to explore the experiences of loneliness among Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in different localities in the country. One aims to understand the barriers (and facilitators) faced by BAME community members in accessing loneliness services, to identify ways in which service providers may improve referrals, and to influence policy change more broadly.

Meanwhile the other project studies the experiences of both BAME and white British individuals who are lonely going through two key life transitions: health and bereavement. The third project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, represents a partnership between the Centre for Loneliness Studies and the Universities of Kent, Chester and West of England. It aims to provide an index of typologies of loneliness interventions for the £78m Big Lottery funded Ageing Better programme which aims to reduce social isolation in 14 areas across the country.

Andrea and Sarah were also recently invited to be members of the cross government departmental technical steering group designed to inform the government’s tackling loneliness team and recently ran a very successful event, with Age UK, chaired by Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Gill Valentine, which explored experiences of loneliness among older LGBT communities and how it can be reduced.