Continually testing, gathering feedback, and implementing changes is the best way to adapt during extreme circumstances.
The pandemic has taught us that continuous learning is key to adapting services to prevent or reduce loneliness during times of change. It’s likely that charities will continue to offer a hybrid of remote and in-person services for many years to come, so it’s vital that the lessons learnt from Covid-19 are not forgotten.
Our tips to help your remote project tackle loneliness draws upon a developmental evaluation of the Building Connections Fund, the first ever cross government fund dedicated to reducing loneliness in England, delivered in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and the Co-op Foundation. NPC supported grant holders by sharing emerging good practice for addressing changing needs and rules throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The big lessons learnt by grant holders through the Covid-19 pandemic were to:
- Help service users increase their engagement with online activities and offer choice to meet different service users’ needs.
- Ensure support is consistent and reliable, with healthy relationships between staff and users and regular support to create trust and reassurance.
- Work together with local organisations to avoid duplication.
- Put appropriate safeguarding and privacy measures in place.
- Respond to changing user needs during different lockdowns or social distancing restrictions.
Covid-19 has forced charities to innovate faster than ever before. We hope that by publishing these tips for running a remote project to tackle loneliness we can help the many charities tackling similar challenges to build on these lessons, both now and in the future.