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Precious Time: information for organisations

Do you represent an organisation or voluntary group? Find out how to get involved in our Precious Time campaign.

As an organisation or voluntary group, you can get involved in the local work to help end loneliness. Pledge to take action, for example by working on how you encourage and welcome older people into your organisation. Read more about the issue of loneliness and isolation in the downloads section.

The following principles have been developed by a range of groups and organisations across South Gloucestershire to help guide us in our campaign:

  • tackling loneliness and isolation needs all organisations, sectors, residents and communities to work together and in partnership
  • we can work together to reduce loneliness amongst older people: lack of social contact must not be seen as an inevitable consequence of getting older
  • we will involve older people including those who feel lonely in understanding what goes on across South Gloucestershire and in coming up with solutions to loneliness
  • we will deliver services and support in new and innovative ways, acknowledging the contribution communities and volunteers have in making things happen
  • we will develop a strategy and action plan to focus our efforts and keep track of progress made

Good practice examples of how organisations have tackled loneliness

The range of activities that organisations have undertaken to tackle loneliness includes:

  • information giving and signposting
  • support for individuals, such as befriending or visiting, or Good Neighbour Schemes
  • setting up social or cultural groups
  • bringing people together by focussing on a health issue, or on exercise
  • intergenerational activities – bringing people of different generations together to share skills or knowledge
  • wider community engagement and volunteering

Please read about what has worked locally in our Case studies.

NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has researched what works in reducing loneliness. Group activities with an education focus work well, as do activities for specific groups such as women, carers, people who have lost a partner and so on.  Whilst women may be happy to come to more informal social gatherings, men prefer activity based sessions – this is of course a generalisation!

Guidance on being a welcoming organisation

Find out how your organisation could benefit by welcoming older people.  The document is a working draft, but is ready to be used by organisations and groups. You can view the Becoming a welcoming organisation document.

What next?

Sign up to the South Gloucestershire campaign and pledge an action.

Join the Strategy Group developing how we respond across South Gloucestershire to the issues of loneliness and isolation. Our work will include:

  • developing ways of identifying isolated and lonely older people
  • understanding more about the local picture – are there particular parts of South Gloucestershire where people feel lonely?
  • working with communities and local people to develop groups, projects and initiatives to reduce loneliness
  • developing and publicising groups, services and support that will help people to feel less lonely
  • making sure loneliness is seen as an important local issue
  • To find out more about the group contact Denise Swain by email: or call 01454 864323.

Information for health and social care workers

If you come into contact with older people through your work – for example you may be a community nurse, GP or support an older person at home, it is important to be aware of loneliness and isolation and the impact these issues can have on a person’s general health and wellbeing.  Here are a few pointers:

  • gently raise the issue of social contact and whether they feel they are having enough contact with other people.  You will probably know quite a lot about the person already, for example are they able to get out and about or do they have family or friends visiting them.  You may pick up on signs, such as the person wanting to spend time chatting with you.  If you don’t know if loneliness is a problem, please ask them if they feel they have enough contact with others.
  • use your local knowledge to connect the person to groups and activities that are going on in the area, encouraging them to attend.  If they lack confidence, they may benefit from a referral to Age UK, who are developing a connector volunteer role and can help people build up their confidence, or to DHI, who offer a Wellbeing Service.
  • use the Precious Time pages for other ideas and where else to go for help
  • Call 01454 862356 if you would like to talk through options.
  • if you come across activities and groups locally, please check that they are entered on Wellaware or call 0808 808 5252.
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