Random acts of kindness

Give someone that warm, fuzzy feeling this Random Acts of Kindness Day. Need some inspiration? Then carry on reading.

Over 9 million adults in the UK are often and always lonely. Small acts kindness can make the world of difference. Here’s a few suggestions from us here at WaveLength.

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6 reasons why radios fight loneliness

“It opens up conversations to people, they feel emotionally more attached to the world, they know what’s going on more, and it certainly does help their mental well-being because they’re not in an empty, lonely house.”

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WaveLength welcomes suspension of Red Button Closure

Last week, the BBC announced the suspension of its plan to close the Red Button Service. The BBC Red Button offers text-based news, sport results, alongside additional television programming. For people who live alone and without Internet connection, this 24 hour 7 day a week service, can be a valuable lifeline. 

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Response to new RHS loneliness stats

In late January, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) released the outcomes of its survey: 50% of UK adults feel lonely. The reasons cited; people are short of time and too shy. The report highlights youth loneliness, with 68 per cent of 18-24 year olds coming out lonelier than 41 per cent of over 55s, chiming with the results of an earlier YouGov survey.

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Election 2019:‌ A loneliness policy test

Avid readers of the government’s loneliness strategy ‘A Connected Society’, will know that the government committed to a loneliness policy test. One of the main strengths of the test, in theory at least, is that it will be used across all government departments to assess policy changes. In this post, we look at why it is important for the next government to maintain momentum with the development of this test.

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WaveLength’s response: free superfast broadband for all

Earlier this week, the Digital Equality Group co-ordinated by WaveLength, released a report looking at the experiences of benefit claimants using online government services. In this report, we highlighted how government’s Digital by Default strategy is continuing to exclude people. We recommended that as more government services are put online, then government should provide universal means-tested broadband for those who need it most. 

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Why loneliness needs to be an election priority


We could start this post by citing the millions of people who are lonely in the UK. Or we could give you a definition of loneliness or state the percentage of people who are scared to admit they’re lonely. But many of you will already be familiar with these facts. You’ll appreciate how deeply loneliness can be felt by a range of people. In fact, many of you will know first-hand what it feels like to be lonely.

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‘Go home and do everything online’: Benefit claimants and online government services

Over the summer, the Digital Equality Group, a policy group co-ordinated by WaveLength, invited benefit claimants and support workers to fill in a questionnaire. This report shows that services are not always straightforward or convenient and those who can’t use digital services continue to be, or are increasingly excluded by the Digital By Default principle. We share these responses in a short paper, which we release today.

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Tablet computers supporting people with early onset dementia

Through our group application process, we give technology to a range of charities who support people who are lonely for a variety of reasons. Those suffering from early onset dementia are particularly vulnerable, as they begin to lose their memories, as well as their independence. Tablet computers can help support staff to understand their patients and to help them through this worrying, and often isolating experience.

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“I can’t tell you how pleased she was. She was so excited to get up today.”

Every year we give out hundreds of pieces of technology through our individual application process. The people we help feel lonely for a range of reasons. Many have poor physical or mental health, which makes leaving their homes difficult. In this post, we share the story of one of our beneficiaries, who received a tablet computer from us in September.

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Amazon Fire App Recommendations

Here at WaveLength, we’ve created a list of some of our favourite apps which you can download to your Amazon Fire tablet. This list is especially useful for people who are new to tablet computers.

If there are any Apps you think we should add to our list, then leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear what you think. If you’d like to print out a copy of this list, then please click here.

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Loneliness in refuge

Clothworkers Tablet 2

Isolation is a tactic many abusers use to control their victims. The perpetrator controls the victim by removing external support systems, so that they become increasingly dependent on the abuser. This makes it difficult for the victim to leave. It is in the abuser’s interest to restrict victims’ access to the Internet, so they can isolate the victim.

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Loneliness and refugees

Loneliness and social isolation are the biggest challenges faced by refugees arriving in London. They have been forced to leave their home country, their community and often their family as they flee war and persecution. New refugees are keen to make friends and contribute to society, but they face language and cultural barriers that can make this difficult. These barriers can separate refugees from the people around them, and make building a new life very lonely work.

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Loneliness and homelessness

Adam Outreach Radio

Many homeless people don’t want to admit their situation to friends and family, colleagues or school friends, and can feel that their secret isolates them from those around them. Not having a home makes it impossible to invite someone over for coffee and a chat, and having no disposable income means that going to the cinema or a restaurant with friends is out of bounds. When having the freedom to spend time with friends and family becomes unaffordable, people can quickly become lonely.

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Everyday technology fighting loneliness report

WaveLength Everyday technology fighting loneliness report

Today we share our latest report, ‘Everyday technology fighting loneliness‘ which shows that people felt less lonely after receiving a radio, television, or tablet. Using survey data collected from over 180 people over 2 years, the research undertaken by the University of York shows that individuals rated their own health more positively after receiving and using their new piece of technology. Study participants were on average 44 years old. Over 50% had been homeless and experienced poor mental health.

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NEW: Everyday technology fighting loneliness report

WaveLength Everyday technology fighting loneliness report

Today we share our latest report, ‘Everyday technology fighting loneliness‘ which shows that people felt less lonely after receiving a radio, television, or tablet. Using survey data collected from over 180 people over 2 years, the research undertaken by the University of York shows that individuals rated their own health more positively after receiving and using their new piece of technology. Study participants were on average 44 years old. Over 50% had been homeless and experienced poor mental health.

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“The TV has made such a positive difference.”

Clare, who lives in Kilburn, received a TV from WaveLength. Clare suffers from health problems which can often leave her bed bound. She describes the TV as a ‘friend’ to her when in her flat. The TV allowed Clare to re-connect with what’s going on and watch TV shows which feature her passion for painting. Clare writes about the impact of receiving a television from WaveLength below.

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“The TV has made such a positive difference to my life.”

Clare, who lives in Kilburn, received a TV from WaveLength. Clare suffers from health problems which can often leave her bed bound. She describes the TV as a ‘friend’ to her when in her flat. The TV allowed Clare to re-connect with what’s going on and watch TV shows which feature her passion for painting. Clare writes about the impact of receiving a television from WaveLength below.

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Friends Against Scams

Scams affect the lives of millions of people across the UK. The National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team estimates that UK consumers lose between £5 and £10 billion a year, as a result of scams. This post looks at the great work being done by Friends Against Scams to help tackle scams – and loneliness.

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Tackling social isolation and loneliness: Public Policy Exchange Symposium

Earlier this week, WaveLength attended the Public Policy Exchange event ‘Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness’. There were presentations from the Minister for Loneliness Tracey Crouch MP, academics, as well as case-studies of great work going on around the country. This blog post talks about some of the highlights (there’s not enough room to talk about all the fantastic presentations unfortunately) and food for thought. 

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Why Are Young People Lonely?

Young people - two boys stand apart against a brick wallOver the past few years, loneliness has become a major talking point in the UK, with multiple studies being conducted to find out who is lonely and why. Earlier this year, one such study by the Office of National Statistics found that 16-24 year olds are more likely to be lonely than people over 65. And many people, including the Minister for Loneliness Tracey Crouch, seem keen to blame this problem on technology.

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WaveLength and the Advisory Group

In January, the Prime Minister asked the Office for National Statistics to find a way to measure loneliness in the population. To help with this, a Technical Advisory Group was set up. The Advisory Group includes charities, researchers, and government departments who will help identify the best way to do this. Earlier this week, our CEO Tim attended an Advisory Group meeting to hear their progress and represent WaveLength.

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Register for free support in a power cut

Shirley Loveday, who explains how people can gain support in the case of power cutsShirley Loveday at UK Power Networks has guest authored today’s blog post. Shirley works for the Customer Vulnerability team, promoting the support that is available free of charge to vulnerable people in the event of a power cut. People with a wide variety of needs can access this support, including pensioners, families with young children, and people with special needs, disabilities or health conditions. Many of WaveLength’s beneficiaries live in these circumstances, and could benefit from this support. But it is only available to people who register. So if you would benefit from this support, or if you know someone who would, please read more below and sign up!

 

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Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

When we talk about domestic abuse, most people think about women being the victims, and men the abusers. And in the majority of cases, this is true. However, more than 40% of domestic abuse victims are male. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Many male victims of abuse don’t know where to turn for help, so can be stuck in their abuse or end up homeless. However, there are some refuges that support and house male survivors of abuse.

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About WaveLength

WaveLength is a charity that works to alleviate loneliness across the UK. We give technology to people who are lonely and living in poverty to help them reconnect with the world. We support people with a wide range of different needs. These include illness, disability, old age, domestic abuse, homelessness, refugees, and many more. In this video, our Ambassador Kirsty Rose Heslewood explains a little more about who we are and what we do.

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