A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections. Shelter Scotland Men's Shed consultation response.

By: Shelter Scotland
Published: April 2018

A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections. Shelter Scotland Men's Shed consultation response

The Men’s Shed is a community group in Renfrewshire, which is part of the Foundations First project run by Shelter Scotland, the national housing and homelessness charity.

A consultation event was held with the group in March 2018 as part of the Scottish Government’s consultation on social isolation and loneliness.

This report presents the group’s views on what needs to happen to reduce social isolation and loneliness, as well as who is key to making this change locally and what the Scottish Government needs to do.

Isolation is an issue and was referred to as a type of torture.

There are many compounding factors to isolation and loneliness: unemployment, poverty, poor mental health and addition issues.

Social groups like the Men’s Shed are crucial to tackling social isolation and loneliness by providing an activity, a sense of purpose and companionship.

There is a need to raise awareness of social groups like the Men’s Shed.

Supporting infrastructure, including funding and premises, is key to success of groups.

More effort could be made to help new tenants integrate into their community.

Local politicians are important for promotion and support of community activity.

The local authority, local community centres, agencies and housing partners need to have a facilitating and communication role.

Communities themselves and local people are very important in raising awareness of and supporting services.

The Government needs to provide more funding for community groups and ensure this is distributed in a fair way.