Empowering Communities: Learning from LAT - 3 July 2019
LAT hosted an interactive workshop on Weds 3rd July 2019 at De Montfort University to reflect on key learning on what works (and doesn’t work) in empowering people aged 50+ to develop creative responses to loneliness and social isolation.
We considered findings from independent evaluations of the LAT Partnership, Community Connectors, and Mental Wellbeing Project and how LAT interventions support work across health and care systems through developing and supporting vibrant and resilient communities of both place and identity.
Creating flourishing communities through strengths-based approaches
Susan Hoath, CEO of Vista spoke about the importance of the LAT Partnership - 17 voluntary and community sector national and local organisations, coordinated through Vista, developing flexible and person-led approaches to support people aged 50+ make social connections.
Download a copy of Susan's slides.
At the heart of the LAT approach to empowering communities is a strengths-based, or asset based approach. Susan highlighted a quote from Lyn Romero: England's Chief Social Worker.
"(Social workers) should apply imagination, creativity and curiosity to working in partnership with individuals and their carers, acknowledging the centrality of people’s own expertise about their experience and needs..."
Lyn Romeo, England’s Chief Social Worker for Adults (England), 2015
Learning from the LAT evidence base
Ruth Rigby LAT Programme Lead shared findings from the LAT evidence base, including an independent evaluation of LAT from the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. The LAT Evaluation Report University of Nottingham found improvements in loneliness, social isolation and wellbeing among people aged 50+ following engagement with LAT activities.
Jayne Brown, Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith and Naina Patel from De Montfort University's LASA (Leicester Academy for the Study of Ageing) have conducted an independent evaluation of LAT. They shared findings of 'what works' and 'what doesn't' in empowering people aged 50+ to overcome loneliness and social isolation. Download a copy of this presentation here.
An independent evaluation of the Community Connectors Project by Vipin Chauhan of Lotus Management Consultancy found that through their asset-based community development approach. Community Connectors enabled and empowered local residents to understand their rights and entitlements, and gave confidence to them to have a say in what they needed and how they felt.
LAT Mental Wellbeing Framework
Getting good attention and being listened to are just two elements of learning from the development of LAT's approach to mental wellbeing. Rob Hunter, Chair of LAT's Board described the development of the LAT Mental Wellbeing Framework, and the huge appetite among people aged 50+ to address issues of mental wellbeing - and often in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities - the links to spirituality.