The third loneliness summit held by SSF and Robert Buckland took place on Thursday 29 November 2018 at the Buckhurst Community Centre in Swindon.

Printable notes of the first and second summits can be downloaded/printed here: Previous Summits

The Third SSF Loneliness Summit, November 2018

Introduction (printable notes of the whole report can be dowloaded/printed here: Third Summit)

Swindon Seniors Forum (SSF) has been working with Robert Buckland MP to run a local campaign to tackles loneliness over the past 18 months (to date). We have been bringing together key local organisations to discuss and share experience and ideas and to consider future potential action to address the issue of loneliness in the Borough.

These are the notes of our third summit. We are in the process of organising our fourth and will keep you updated. We would like to thank all participants for being part of the team and working with us on this important campaign.

Intro:  Rebecca Wolf on behalf of Robert Buckland MP

Robert and Swindon Seniors Forum have been working together over the past 18 months on a local campaign to tackle loneliness, with the aim of bringing together key organisations in and around Swindon to discuss the excellent work that is already taking place locally, as well as discussing what further can be done to tackle loneliness.

The aim of our third event is to look at the Government’s Loneliness Strategy, which was published in October, and how this can be implemented locally in key areas such as Charities, GPs and Mental Health, Local Employers and Businesses and Transport. You can read the full document here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/750909/6.4882_DCMS_Loneliness_Strategy_web_Update.pdf

The Second SSF Loneliness Summit, April 2018

The SSF, in conjunction with Robert Buckland MP, hosted the second Loneliness Summit at Lawn Community Centre on Friday, 20 April 2018. The event was attended by representatives from key local organisations and charities in Swindon.

Key speaker, Seema Kennedy MP, related how she became a Co-chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, having herself experienced isolation following the birth of her son. She explained the tireless work of the National Commission on Loneliness and her determination to involve other parties in the quest to combat loneliness.

Sue Dunmore from Swindon Volunteers Centre explained how volunteering can help tackle loneliness and Sarah Bird from Timebanking UK spoke about how timebanking can increase self-esteem to combat loneliness and isolation through contribution to local communities.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Liddington MP, updated the audience on the work of Tracey Crouch MP, the new Government Minister for Loneliness who is co-ordinating a Cross Ministerial Task Force. He explained that this task force are currently assembling a body of evidence to form a policy on loneliness.

At the end of the event, a Q&A panel consisting of key local organizations provided updates on work taking place across the town to combat loneliness and the idea of a directory of services and a community timetable was discussed.

The First Loneliness Summit, June 2017

On Friday 30th June 2017 Robert Buckland MP and Swindon Seniors Forum hosted the first SSF Loneliness Summit in Swindon.

Introduction (the whole of this report can be found at 'Previous Summits' above):

The Summit, which took place at the Lawn Community Centre, aimed to get the people who are best placed to tackle loneliness in one room to get them talking about the issue.

We had a fantastic turnout with representatives from Swindon Borough Council, older people’s groups, police, Swindon circles, Clinical Commissioning Group, Mental Health, the voluntary sector and community groups.

There was a great buzz in the room and many of our attendees told us they had learned something new, made valuable new connections and were – most importantly – going to come together and make things happen in their work or community.

A powerful video featuring interviews with three over 55s in Swindon left attendees in no doubt as to the prevalence of the problem and the devastating impact it can have on those who don’t know where to turn, those who have lost their confidence.

Swindon Seniors Forum and Robert Buckland will continue to work hard to bring about an end to loneliness in Swindon.