The Age Concern led Social Isolation and Loneliness Task Group is continuing its work, and has now identified two key areas of development, having focused and prioritised from the original 17 (!) themes being considered. These are social prescribing, and personalisation. A lively meeting last week, facilitated by Jo Kilcoyne and Amy Clode of ip&e group, looked at how social prescribing and personalisation can improve the lives of older people in Liverpool.
This project at Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London might suggest one way forward. GPs have been signposting older patients who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation to regular workshops at the gallery. The group have formed a support network for each other, for example making sure that members get a visit if they go into hospital. There are lots of different art forms on offer, but the key is the social interaction, the refreshment break and the time spent in lovely surroundings as much as the creative content. It reminded me of the excellent project PSS and the Bluecoat ran recently with HOP Pot funding, which we featured on the blog earlier.
Could we replicate and sustain this in Liverpool, and who would be the most appropriate partners?