Hundreds of charities, social enterprises and community groups across the country are working to alleviate loneliness and help people feel more connected to each other. But what’s the best way to know if their activities are working?
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has released free ‘A Brief Guide to Measuring Loneliness’, a 12 page guide, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, that includes recommended questions for children and adults, plus an editable questionnaire template, to help organisations assess the effectiveness of their work.
The guide is aimed at anyone wanting to understand the impact of their charity on loneliness, especially people with responsibility for monitoring and evaluation. It takes a realistic approach to evaluation to avoid overloading charities and the people they support with too many questions. It acknowledges the strengths of small organisations in collecting evidence about people’s personal journeys, and gives advice on how to have conversations about a sometimes difficult and sensitive topic.
They also acknowledge that those projects that are trying to alleviate loneliness are also aiming to improve the overall wellbeing of people they work with and offer an online guide for measuring wellbeing impact, which can be used alongside this guidance on loneliness to understand the full effect your activities are having on people’s lives.