Evaluating JRF’s Loneliness Programme

Qa Research are currently evaluating the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Neighbourhood Approaches to Loneliness Programme.

Programme overview

This three-year action research programme looks at how community activities could contribute to the well-being of people at risk of or experiencing loneliness; how they could play a central role in this activity; and how this involvement could in turn enhance community well-being.

The programme is supporting and facilitating community activists to address loneliness amongst people in four neighbourhoods within the districts of Bradford (Bradford Moor and Denholme) and York (Carr Estate, and New Earswick). There is also a focus on increasing the security, independence and well-being of people at risk of or experiencing loneliness.

Key aims of the programme are to:

  • Explore what people who are experiencing or at risk of loneliness think they can do to change their situation;
  • Work with local communities and providers to adopt approaches and innovations that reflect this;
  • Influence the willingness of others in the neighbourhood to engage and contribute; and
  • Capture and share lessons in ways which are meaningful, enduring and replicable.

Evaluation methodology

Working alongside the Programme Manager since September 2011 Qa Research are mid-way through the evaluation. The final report will be published in 2014 and will contain findings from the following evaluative activity:

  • Desk research
  • Observation at community feedback sessions
  • 250 door-step baseline interviews with residents across the four neighbourhoods and a further 250 follow-up interviews towards the end of the programme. The questionnaire has covered a range of themes including awareness and involvement in the programme, social and inter-racial trust, political participation, giving and volunteering, faith-based engagement and health
  • Focus groups with residents
  • Critical friend support to the Programme Manager
  • In-depth interviews with key stakeholders
  • Case studies with residents

You can read more about how the programme is progressing here:http://www.jrf.org.uk/work/workarea/neighbourhood-approaches-loneliness

If you would like to know more about the evaluation please contact Angela Browne on 01903 632039 or angela.browne@qaresearch.co.uk