SOPA held an East Lothian focused outreach event online on 25 May 2021 with a theme of Reconnecting Our Communities, considering the challenges and solutions for supporting older people to reconnect as COVID restrictions ease. The event featured a local service, North Berwick Community Connections and also heard from Pilmeny Development Project, an organisation that has provided a similar Community Connecting service in Leith, Edinburgh, since 2009.
Key findings from the discussion were:
- Lack of confidence/ anxiety and physical/ mobility issues will challenge many older people in reconnecting with people and activities
- There needs to be joined up, local plans to support older people to reconnect
- The third sector, local community and faith groups are well placed to support people to gradually reconnect
- Transport is key and needs to be aligned with the opening up of activities and services
- The third sector should be recognised for its efforts to support people throughout the pandemic and treated as an equal partner in planning and delivering future services
- Having accessible information in channels other than digital and hearing the voices of older people is more important now than ever.
You can access all the documents and recordings from the event below: