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02.04.2019

Wales Confirms Preventive Approach to Tackling Loneliness

The Welsh Government has published the Connected Communities consultation summary report on tackling loneliness and isolation in Wales, re-affirming a commitment to prevention and early intervention. Volunteering and social prescription were amongst the key messages raised by Icon that were shared by other respondents.

Icon’s response highlighted how cultural heritage and conservation hold great potential to build resilient communities and individuals. We urged the government to support social prescribing and collaborative projects across the arts and health and social care sectors.

In total, the consultation received 234 responses from statutory and third sector organisations, community groups, representative bodies, businesses and many individuals. The summary report shows broad backing amongst respondents for more integrated, partnership working between health, social care and the third sector. However, in consensus with Icon’s submission, respondents underlined how sustainable funding and greater recognition of civil society’s activities was vital to securing a stronger and more effective role for the sector in social prescription.

Volunteering was another suggestion shared by Icon and other respondents. It was seen as a powerful tool to helping people build healthy relationships. Icon showcased the heritage sector’s significant volunteering workforce, describing how volunteering in conservation can empower people to gain new skills, fill gaps in knowledge and build confidence and self-esteem.

In a written statement adjoining the report, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan AM re-affirmed the government’s commitment to an approach that seeks to reduce the risk of and prevent loneliness and social isolation. Icon welcomes the commitment to a preventative approach and hopes that opportunities to engage in cultural heritage and conservation will be supported and encouraged through the strategy.

The final strategy will be published later this year.

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Image: Creative Commons

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