Bromley’s tackling loneliness strategy
Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but when people are always lonely, they are likely to suffer significant ill health and other negative consequences.
Bromley’s tackling loneliness strategy 2022 to 2026 has been co-produced by the council and its partners with a focus on preventing people from feeling lonely all or most of the time. It aims to continue the boroughwide conversation on loneliness to raise awareness of its impacts and help tackle its stigma. Just as we understand the importance of looking after our physical health and increasingly our mental health, so too must we look after our social connections and understand that they are key to our wellbeing.
This builds on the work that has been underway since the council’s commitment in 2019 to address loneliness and address is it as a ‘whole system’ issue. Building on the momentum of a partnership
The strategy is for everyone, recognising that loneliness affects people of all ages and stages of their lives. There is no quick fix to tackling loneliness entirely, but there can be a continued momentum and focus on the reality of people’s life experiences.
We want to make sure that Bromley is a borough where families, friends and communities support each other, especially at vulnerable points where people are at greater risk of loneliness. We want to develop a culture in our borough where loneliness is recognised and acted on without stigma or shame, so that we all look out for one another.
The strategy defines what is meant by loneliness, how it is triggered, who is affected and looks at the impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.
Three key priorities and responses to each are described:
- Organisations and services
- Community infrastructure that empowers social connections
- Building a culture that encourages strong social relationships.
We want to create strong, integrated communities and challenge obstacles that isolate people or groups.
One of the actions in the organisations and services priorities is to make it easier to access information about local community groups, activities and support services for loneliness. The Simply Connect Bromley website contains information about many of the groups in the borough and continues to add groups and activities on an on-going basis.
Befriending services, support and opportunities