Reconnections is the UK’s first Social Impact Bond to tackle loneliness.
Loneliness is one of the most pressing social challenges facing older people today, with over 10% of the population reporting to be chronically lonely and a third reporting to be often or sometimes lonely. Loneliness reduces people’s quality of life and has been linked to serious health factors such as depression, anxiety, and mortality. However, due to a lack of evidence on the most effective interventions and a limited understanding about the costs of it, loneliness is a poorly addressed and under-invested in problem.
The Reconnections programme has been designed by taking international best practice and evidence on how to positively address loneliness. It aims to identify and engage individuals who either are, or are at risk of being, lonely, to support them to overcome barriers, engage with activities, and make meaningful and lasting connections. The intervention will be delivered by Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire over the next four years, with performance management delivered by Social Finance.
Philip Talbot, Chief Executive Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire says,
“We are very excited to be part of this ground breaking work which addresses loneliness in our communities in a practical way. We are looking forward to working with an array of local partners to offer new solutions to help people combat their loneliness and re-build their connections with their local communities. In addition, we are delighted we have been able to secure a unique Social Investment funding package and we look forward to the learning that this will bring to investing in prevention and early intervention programmes for the Voluntary sector in the future.'
Katie Mountain from Nesta Impact Investments says,
“We believe that Reconnections has huge potential to address what is a very challenging social issue. Importantly it will also contribute to the evidence base on how to address loneliness and the economic costs of loneliness, which we hope will unlock further investment in this space to be able to deliver more solutions at scale.”