A project called “saying hello” was funded in Wigan Borough UK and developed at the university of Salford, with the aim of working in partnership with elderly people, healthcare authoroties and voluntary agencies on investigating ways in which ageing people manage potential and actual loneliness and isolation and strategies to prevent and reduce loneliness.
I found several innovative good things in this project:
- The project used voluntary researchers for interviewing ageing people. The nice things is that voluntary researchers were themselves in the same age range of those who have been interviewed. This made the relationship between people and researchers much tighter. It was much easier for those researchers to capture tacit knowledge from the ageing people and interpret/translate this knowledge for the researchers; furthermore the familiarity between voluntary researchers and ageing people involved in the project will increase the possibility of keeping this relationship even after the end of the research project
- The outcome of the project was not (or perhaps not only) a report or tables with data, but a radio-play, in which six actors played a script written by the ageing people themselves. The use of this medium was very interesting. As the researchers say in the video, ageing people are not used to reports or tables of data, but they are much more familiar with television programs or radio programs. It is much easier for them to relate to this medium.
- In orther to create the script for the video, people were asked to write down sentences about their life, their routines and their feeling, thus having one more opportunity to reflect about what really matters in their life and for the problems related to their loneliness and isolation.
Info about the project, including an interesting video and the radio play developed in the project can be found At the project website