Archives for April 2017

Engaging Community Assets to tackle Social Isolation

In recent years there has been an increased interest and awareness about the issue of social isolation and loneliness.  At the end of last year Voluntary Health Scotland published a briefing paper identifying 'Loneliness: [as] a threat to Scotland's Health'. It focuses on what makes a difference in reducing loneliness and improving physical as well as mental health. In response to this challenging issue, the Scottish Government committed to developing a Loneliness and Isolation Strategy.

Linking in with this current debate is the Engaging Community Assets project we were involved in with the Royal College of GPs and funded by the Scottish Government (2012-2014) . The project also focused on better health and social care integration and therefore seems very current and relevant in terms of its findings and outcomes;

One of the main findings from the project was that there was an underlying issue of social isolation (...) identified by each of the communities.

The project successfully used social capital to build local relationship networks and engaged with social enterprises to enable partnership working as well as share best practice. The project also

developed a model that could be adopted by other practices in Scotland which could assist them to engage local community assets, focusing on this universal issue [of loneliness] initially.

View the project summary here >>

#endloneliness

Social Enterprise – Unlocking Potential

Last week the Scottish Government published the new 'Building a Sustainable Social Enterprise Sector in Scotland - Action Plan 2017-20'  which includes a £3million investment for social entrepreneurs. It is aimed at boosting the sector by offering support to people and communities.

"...the plan will ensure that social enterprises play a central role in business and community life for many years to come."

 

 

The plan also  includes 92 commitments to realise its aims with some focusing on demonstrating the social value and impact of the social enterprise sector in Scotland.  One key actions will involve the Scottish Government supporting Assist Social Capital to pilot our Unlocking Potential social capital evaluation tool  for social enterprises in partnership with some Social Enterprise Networks.