a close-up of two hands working on an embroidery of a key
Arts & Minds

The government’s 2018 Loneliness Strategy discusses the potential of the arts and culture to address the ongoing crisis of loneliness, affecting particularly young people and older people, and says that

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will work with Arts Council England to address loneliness through its programmes, as well as utilising the loneliness measure in its work. Alongside this, the department will raise awareness of the role that libraries can play, including through Libraries Week.

What Works for Wellbeing have a comprehensive resource on loneliness, covering definitions, existing evidence, and how to measure. Their 'Tackling Loneliness' publication is based on 364 reviews from developed countries across the world including the UK.

[Please note that this page is in development]

Arts & Health South West are partnering with Public Health England South West on two webinars focusing on loneliness, with Alex Coulter (Director, Arts & Health South West) and Martin R. White (Health and Wellbeing Manager, Public Health England South West). The webinars will be on 1 and 8 October, 12noon-1pm.


Case studies:

National Museums Liverpool’s Happy Older People network initiative was recently shortlisted for the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence. The scheme brings together older people, artists, cultural organisations, health and social care providers, housing associations, community groups, transport providers, and volunteering organisations to try to tackle loneliness and isolation across the city region. You can watch a film about the scheme here: https://happyolderpeople.com/happy-older-people-the-film/

Equal Arts’ Hen Power scheme is now established in more than 40 care homes across the North East of England. HenPower creatively hengages older people in arts activities and hen-keeping to promote health and wellbeing and reduce loneliness. You can watch short films here: https://equalarts.org.uk/our-work/henpower

Excerpt from Case Studies from the Culture White Paper (March 2016):

Meet Me At the Albany was launched In 2013, with support from Lewisham Council’s Community Directorate, Entelechy Arts and the Albany. Meet Me at the Albany is a creative arts club for the over 60s that asks: What could be possible if the isolated old were supported to attend their local arts centre, instead of a day centre? Meet Me at the Albany is a bold new approach to daycare providing a regular meeting place where participants can become involved in creative workshops, experience performances from leading artists or simply sit back and enjoy the atmosphere, as well as enjoying a home cooked hot meal and beverages for just £6 a day.

Lewisham Council have committed £110,000 per annum for the next three years and are looking to extend the project into different settings such as sheltered local housing. The project is likely be rolled out to other London Boroughs and beyond.