Briefing: Scotland’s Draft Loneliness and Isolation Strategy
by Suzanne Lau
Following a public consultation on Scotland’s draft loneliness and social isolation strategy, the Scottish Government recently published its analysis of responses. The consultation received 419 responses from individuals and organisations, including members of the public and summaries from public engagement events. You can find CTA’s response to the consultation here.
The analysis broke down the key findings from these responses into three key chapters – ‘Perceptions of the value of the draft strategy’, ‘Features of support to tackle social isolation and loneliness’, and ‘Factors contributing to social isolation and loneliness’.
CTA welcome the analysis of responses. We were pleased that the importance of transportation was consistently mentioned throughout the report and considered one of the key factors contributing to social isolation and loneliness, and that sustainable funding was also recognised as fundamental in enabling third sector organisations and volunteers to grow their impact.
Community transport is vital in reducing social isolation and loneliness for many of the most vulnerable in our communities. Many of our members operate over large rural distances and poorly connected urban locations in Scotland; their work enables those who would otherwise be unable to leave their homes to connect with everyday services and to enjoy social opportunities.
We’re pleased that community transport was mentioned specifically in the response, but had hoped that its contribution in the areas of social prescribing, provision of truly accessible door-to-door transport, and enablement of other loneliness projects would have received a more substantial mention. We hope that the Scottish Government’s future loneliness and isolation strategy will recognise this and embed community transport into policy, service design and planning. CTA will continue to make this case and promote the vital work of our members across Scotland.
For a more detailed breakdown of the analysis of responses, we’ve put together a briefing on the main points in the report, which you can read below:
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