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Ageing Better in Camden (ABC) would are proposing a project that seeks to map the social networks that older people are a part of. ABC is a partnership between older people and Camden organisations, where they work together to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older people. The work is funded by the Big Lottery as part of the Ageing Better strategic programme, looking at social isolation and loneliness in fourteen areas.

The project could take a social network analysis approach creating visual representations about the nature and strength of the older people’s social networks. We would hope to map connections in a number of areas of people’s lives including family, friends, community and volunteering.

We would also look to identify the differing strengths of those connections, so as to understand not only the number of connections people have, but also the importance placed upon them. This will give us a detailed insight into this area, and will be used to support Aging Better’s higher level data collection. This is completed mainly in the form of surveys containing outcome based measurement tools. These give us the overview of levels of social contact and participation, but not the detail.

Co-production is a core value underpinning the work of ABC and so we would be keen for older people to both be involved in co-producing and reflecting on a visual representation of their social connections/networks. In this exercise they might also reflect on whether they’ve made any enduring/sustainable connections that they can draw on over the longer term. This would help us to measure the levels of resilience people feel they are building and whether they believe that is creating a longer term protective factor as we hope.

This work would be supported by both ABC and OPM who are carrying out the evaluation of the whole programme.