Looking out for your neighbours campaign

New 'looking out for our neighbours campaign' aims to combat loneliness and social isolation.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has launched a new campaign that aims to help prevent loneliness and social isolation in communities.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign encourages local people to do simple things to look out for one another to help improve the wellbeing of other residents in the area.

According to research from The Health Foundation (December 2018), social isolation can increase the risk of having a stroke by a third, and older people who live alone are 50% more likely to visit A&E than those who live with others.

Findings published in Age UK’s new report “All the lonely people: Loneliness amongst older people” (2018) show that the number of older people who are lonely is rising quickly. This could be a major public health concern because if loneliness is not addressed it can seriously affect people’s health and well-being.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign hopes to inspire people to reach out to those who live alone or might need help, and encourage them to do simple things for them that will make a real difference to their wellbeing. This could be anything from picking up some shopping, to saying “hello” or even something as simple as giving a wave next time they see their neighbours.

Over 300 organisations have pledged their support to take part in the campaign from local dementia friendly cafes, to sports clubs (including Leeds Rhinos Foundation & Wakefield Trinity Rugby Club Community Trust), Harrogate Football Club and the Yorkshire Sports Foundations, to the Piece Hall Trust, Andy’s Man Club, Macmillan Cancer Charity, hospitals, councils and mental health and wellbeing organisations – the list is endless.

The campaign starts today and will run across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It’s been created with the help of over 100 residents across the region. 30,000 households across West Yorkshire and Harrogate will receive a hand-delivered ‘neighbour pack’ that will include a range of different resources to inspire and encourage residents to champion togetherness in their area and look out for those in need.

For those who don’t receive a hand-delivered pack, all resources are available to download from the campaign website, ourneighbours.org.uk.

Key to the success of the campaign will be local community organisations and groups working with and in their neighbourhoods.

Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

“How many of us can honestly say we know who our neighbours are? Knowing and supporting our neighbours is something we’ve forgotten the importance of as a society. We are seeing the knock on effects of this in health and care services, with issues connected to isolation and loneliness escalating into bigger problems which my colleagues in community mental health teams often see.

At a time when the NHS is investing in social prescribing on a national level, so we can all invest in it at a very local level by improving our community spirit. So why not take the time to find out more about your neighbours and how you can help each other. I guarantee you’ll both feel the benefits.”



Campaign Background

In August 2018, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership allocated £1m to go toward supporting voluntary and community organisations through the WY&H HCP Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme. Community and voluntary partners were allocated additional resources through their partnership work with local councils and the Health and Wellbeing Boards to help tackle loneliness and social isolation which has a major impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

‘Looking out for our neighbours’ is a social marketing campaign which aims to prevent loneliness and its associated health issues by encouraging communities to look after each other, therefore reducing demand on health and care services through early help and preventing ill health. The campaign aims to inspire communities to engage in simple activities that will positively impact on their neighbours wellbeing.

About West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership focuses on the health and care needs of local people across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. The partnership is made up of a number of organisations who work together to help 2.6 million people in the area including the NHS, councils, Healthwatch, voluntary and community organisations. You can find out more at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk