Change that leads to better lives

Evaluation of Reconnections by Independent Age

Reconnections logo v6

Reconnections by Independent Age is a locally run service for those aged 65 and over who would like to connect with people or interests in their community. Together with a group of local volunteers, the service supports people who are feeling lonely to reconnect with their local community, helping them join local activities, gatherings and events, from chats over coffee to bucket-list experiences. Independent Age has launched two pilot Reconnections services, in Barking & Dagenham and Havering (January 2020) and in Guildford and Waverley (November 2020).

In January 2021 NDTi were commissioned to undertake a 2.5 year evaluation of the Reconnections pilot to look at the impact of the service and to generate learning about the potential development of the model.

The mixed methods evaluation will involve stakeholder workshops, quantitative analysis of loneliness and wellbeing measures and qualitative interviews and focus groups with service users, volunteers, Reconnections staff and wider stakeholders. It will address the following research questions:

  • Do those people who access the Reconnections service feel that they have improved social connections, reduced loneliness and improved wellbeing?
  • What impact does volunteering for the Reconnections service have on Reconnections volunteers?
  • Does Reconnections’ approach facilitate effective collaboration between voluntary sector, community groups, local businesses/services, statutory sector organisations and volunteers that focuses on what people need to thrive?
  • What are we learning about key success factors and barriers to implementing Reconnections’ approach in a variety of localities, with diverse communities and changing operational circumstances?

To find out more about the project, please contact Naomi Harflett who is leading the evaluation:

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