We used peer research to explore how residents are affected by loneliness and isolation
Chrysalis Research undertook a piece of peer research project in partnership with Kew Neighbourhood Association. The aim of the research was to explore how residents of Kew are affected by loneliness and isolation and to recommend local actions that could be taken to address the issues identified.
A total of 10 volunteers (Kew residents) took part in a one day training session to conduct one to one interviews with other residents of the ward. The volunteers identified their own research objectives and questions they wished to ask others about the topic of loneliness and isolation, and how they could increase social connections. A total of 32 in-depth interviews were conducted with 27 females and five males living in Kew, who were over the age of 70 and lived alone. An analysis session was facilitated by a researcher from Chrysalis Research who then prepared a formal report with recommendations based on the interview findings.
One of the main outcomes was the creation of a companionship coordinator role for local residents, to match volunteers and clients based on interests and desired activities. As well as the actions taken as a result of the research findings, the research process itself brought about positive changes. The training engaged people who may already have been experiencing loneliness, helping them to learn a new skill and meet others in similar circumstances.