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The importance of connectors during Covid-19 and beyond

This digital event held in February 2021 explored what partnerships from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Ageing Better programme have learned about the importance of community connectors in tackling loneliness and social isolation, and how the roles of connectors and social prescribing have become even more critical during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Connecting with others is really important for people who are lonely, but they often need support to do so. Connectors therefore help people overcome their emotional and practical barriers to connecting. This skill and knowledge has made connectors even more vital during the pandemic.

At the event, we heard from several partnerships on the Ageing Better programme, each sharing insights from the ‘connector’ models that they have used across 5 years of delivery to date. They addressed why connectors, and social prescribing more broadly, are important to tackling loneliness both before Covid-19 and now, as well as challenges for connectors which are specific to the Covid-19 context such as:

  • having fewer available services to refer people to
  • how to be a connector in a digital context
  • reconnecting people who have been shielding

Around 120 people joined the event with many insights shared, 96% saying they would recommend an event like this to a colleague.

“Good for networking and seeing what was going on in the rest of the country.”

Outputs from the event 

Please look at the insights pack from the event, which includes links to the speakers’ talks.

Please also see these videos of the speakers’ talks:

Ruth Bamford, Funding & Relationship Manager, The National Lottery Community Fund

Bharti Mistry, Community Connector, Leicester Ageing Together:

Christine Durrant, Community Builder, Ageing Well Torbay

Lynne Humphries, Engagement and Volunteer Manager, Brightlife Cheshire

David Coffin, Relationship Manager, Ageing Better in Birmingham