Suggestions for connections!

Each June the Marmalade Trust raises awareness of loneliness and connection during their Loneliness Awareness Week. This year we are being encouraged to pick a ‘Random Act of Connection’ to try, but we have taken it one step further with some “Suggestions for Connections!”

During IMPACT’s yearlong Facilitator Project on ‘Older People and Loneliness in Rural Areas’ older people, members of the community and those that deliver approaches to reducing loneliness in Moray have shared their views on connection which can be grouped into the 4 themes below.

Connections Challenge

We challenge anyone involved in delivering community activities or services to choose one of these to try in their area. We would love to know how it goes!

Signposting and Connecting

  • Use local networks to advertise/ signpost what is available: “A personal invite does make a difference. I would put up a poster, then after a few weeks start directly asking people to help out or come along.” Volunteer delivering approach.
  • A warm welcome: “We have a committee member there to welcome anyone who is new” Men’s Shed Committee Member
  • Offer to attend with someone initially to help with confidence and planning travel etc.

Meeting Places

Creative use of local spaces such as,

  • Libraries
  • Allotments/ community gardens
  • NHS Info Buses or similar, offering a roaming place to meet and connect.
  • Or approaching a local business to ‘donate a space’ These spaces could be used to host a Public Living Room or community group. Using people’s homes as the centre of connection is also possible with Shared Lives Day Support and Re-engage Tea Parties.


  • “Make use of the skills and experience locally… and encourage and make people part of the community solution” Person delivering support.
  • “Speak to people locally rather than implementing something and seeing if it’s popular.” Person delivering support.
  • Consider how you title your activity. Assumptions and stigma can have an impact.
  • “If someone isn’t there one week our group gives them a ring to see if they are ok and help them out.” B.A.L.L. (Be Active Life Long) Group Member

Community Relationships and Trusted Support

  • Time to get to know someone brings trust, in turn leading to confidence to connect with the community. Whether this be between neighbours, an individual and community volunteer or paid supporter.
  • “Intergenerational activities benefit everyone- the young person learns from the older person (who then) has sense of purpose.” Member of the community

We hope to hear how you have used the ‘Suggestions for Connections’ in your practice or work in the community.

To find out more about how people who live and work in Moray were involved in this project visit: Loneliness among older people in rural areas