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Social isolation and loneliness: the impact of shielding in Rhondda Cynon Taf

February 1st 2021

How can services in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area support people who have been shielding and at risk of social isolation and loneliness?

Summary

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic people who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to shield. Following aStay at home brief pause between August and December, people were once again advised to shield. For many people this means they will have spent several months living in near total isolation. Current guidance is in place until 31st March, by which time people will have been shielding for over a year. Even after this time people who are shielding could continue to face tougher restrictions.

The advice has been in place to protect those with underlying conditions, however it has had a clear impact on their health and well-being and could have led to increased feelings of social isolation and loneliness. While there is support in place for those who have been officially advised to shield, there are also those who have decided to self-shield due to underlying health conditions and those who have shielded to protect others.

As lockdown eases, restrictions on social interaction are likely to remain for some time. People may need further support and help to reconnect socially, with friends family and social activities.

Project aims

Our project will engage with people advised to shield, have self-shielded or are supporting someone who is shielding.  This will increase understanding of the specific difficulties facing people affected by shielding in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area. It will develop practical solutions to reduce social isolation and loneliness and improve the well-being of people who have shielded.

Funder

We have been commissioned by Interlink RCT to carry out this work.

Duration

January – April 2021.

If you would like more information about this project please contact Claire Thomas on [email protected]

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