Mar 6th 2020

#RDNetwork: Tackling Social Isolation in the Older Generation


During 2020 the Cornwall Museums Partnership Twitter page will be handing the reigns over each month to local organisations where they will be guest hosting our Rural Diversity Networking hour, #RDNetwork.

Through the Rural Diversity Network (RDN) we’re trying to tackle geographic exclusion. Cultural policy around diversity is heavily centred on the visible diversity of big cities. The Network aims to balance this by providing a voice, another view and campaigning for equity. Some of the common aims of the RDN are to create a place for representation and advocacy, to create a place to put diversity into practice, networking with each other and with each other’s organisations to find common cause, and to create a safe space to challenge and be challenged.

Each month during the #RDNetwork, our guest host will help us to tackle a certain topic through questions and conversations. Please follow us on Twitter to keep up to date and to join in these conversations throughout the year.

In January, Age UK Cornwall kindly started the ball rolling so please continue reading to hear all about their experience of our #RDNetwork Twitter Takeover… 

 

 

 

What an honour it was to host the first Rural Diversity Network Twitter Takeover of the new decade. The topic was loneliness in the older generation and Age UK Cornwall were humbled to receive the invitation from the Cornwall Museums Partnership to present this talk.

The questions we decided to ask the #RDNetwork followers were:

  • How do we better support an ageing population?
  • What are the biggest barriers facing you when trying to reach your local community?
  • Is digital technology a good way to reduce social isolation?
  • Share your good and bad experience of loneliness.

We are impressed by Cornwall Museums Partnership’s drive to develop these important conversations for Cornwall and sharing our passion for collaborative efforts to explore common missions.

Loneliness has no bias and can affect anyone at any time.

However, from our experience, we see a lot of signs of loneliness for our clients (50+) who experience barriers to connecting with their community. Our mission is not only to support these individuals to access the services and activities that meet their basic needs, but to help eliminate the loneliness in their lives which involves connecting individuals with their community.

 

 

We recognise and would like to thank the Cornwall Museums Partnership for their work to bring heritage and culture to Cornwall through their numerous museum projects. The importance of spaces like this to connect with the community, the arts and the past all factor into combating a sense of feeling alone.

 

 

Cornwall Museums Partnership continues to innovate so that people can access their services in many ways and get involved, especially with the help of digital tools. There’s nothing more important than removing these barriers for people. As the below infographic shows, loneliness has far-reaching effects that impact physical and mental well-being.

It is a topic very close to our hearts as an organisation. Our team work hard to tackle social isolation through our many services including The Cornwall Link, a community platform for adults of any age. It helps individuals find out what is happening in their area or the services that will meet their needs so that they can feel better connected. Health and social care professionals across the county, and spanning various job roles, utilise the platform to signpost clients and patients following consultations. The clever customisable search allows users to select from a multitude of categories, health needs, interests and location radius to be matched with service listings. The platform is continually developing to improve the service we offer.

What was great about getting involved with this project is that the Rural Diversity Network mirrors our thoughts around supporting and providing voices for individuals in Cornwall. The #RDNetwork Twitter conversations provide a monthly space for members of the community to discuss the barriers the Cornish public face, but also the successes of individuals and services to meet the needs that are prevalent in this county.

Lee Davies, the Communications Lead for Age UK Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, took over the Cornwall Museums Partnership’s Twitter profile on our behalf. He said of the experience:

“It was such a privilege to #TakeOver the Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP) Twitter page in late January. By working together, we could reach a wider audience and highlight some of the big questions facing older individuals across Cornwall. Your compassionate responses showed just how many people want to make a difference and improve well-being in their local areas. We aim to work with many more like-minded organisations and better connect people to the Cornish community.”

We would like to thank the many organisations and individuals who promoted the takeover and got involved in the conversations. We were inundated with responses, all of which provided insights into the potential developments and successes of services based in Cornwall, including our own. This talk highlighted how digital can help to connect us as part of holistic solutions, but digital should not develop at the detriment of answering a human need. We recognise the importance of services in Cornwall to connect us, regardless of age, and combat loneliness together. We hope you will help us all on our journey for a more #ConnectedCornwall.

 

Please share your thoughts on these topics on email@ageukcornwall.org.uk. If you need our support, you can also contact us via the Helpline on 01872 266383.