Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness Across the Life Course

Over 1.1 million Britons are lonely. Moreover, those who experience loneliness are 50% more likely to die prematurely than people with a good social network.


20% discount on all rates before 6pm Friday 24 November. Quote code EB20 when booking. Limited availability.

The context

Social isolation and loneliness, while not a physical health condition, is akin to chronic long-term conditions in terms of the impact that it can have on an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Social isolation can damage an individual’s sense of belonging, empowerment and contribution to society. However, the signs are often hidden by silence, substance abuse and suicide. To draw attention to the issue, the Scottish Government is in the process of developing a National Social Isolation Strategy, which will be published in early 2018. 

Existing throughout the life course, social isolation and loneliness can be difficult to diagnose and challenging to prescribe. Often, the consequences of this can be treated through effective community intervention and engagement. 

The event

Join us at this Holyrood briefing on the 13 February 2018 to examine how we can work across sectors to make Scotland a kinder and more inclusive nation for those who experience social isolation and loneliness. We will bring together key organisations and expert speakers to examine the current policy landscape for social isolation and loneliness in Scotland, understanding the signs and next steps for health and social care services.

Key issues to be addressed

  • An up-to-date understanding of the new strategy and it’s intended outcomes
  • Current progress and future plans for implementation
  • Examining loneliness as a public health concern
  • Understanding the associated lifestyle choices which can impact on health and wellbeing
  • Evaluating the impact of social isolation and loneliness at varying points across the life course
  • The role of different stakeholders in tackling isolation and loneliness; third sector, community Integration Join Boards (IJBs), NHS bodies and councils

Confimed Speakers

  • Chris O'Hanlon, Social Isolation and Loneliness Policy Officer, Scottish Government
  • Tom Berney, Chair, Scottish Older people's Assembly (SOPA)
  • Claire Stevens, Chief Officer, Voluntary Health Scotland 
  • Paul Okroj, Chair, Scottish Volunteering Forum
  • Marie Hayes, Scotland Director for Independent Living and Crisis Response, British Red Cross



09:30   Registration and Refreshments

10:00   Welcome and Introduction from Chair

10:05   Session 1: Policy and Overview

10:05   The National Social Isolation and Loneliness Strategy

  • Up-to-date briefing on the current strategy
  • Next steps for services ahead of implementation 
  • Future policy priorities for tackling social isolation and loneliness in Scotland 

           Chris O'Hanlon, Social Isolation and Loneliness Policy Officer, Scottish Government 

10:20   Examining current social isolation and loneliness demographics in Scotland

10:40   Evaluating the impact of social isolation and loneliness on health and wellbeing

11:00   Questions and Discussion

11:20   Refreshments and Networking

11:40   Session 2: Understanding Varying Types of Isolation

  • Understanding the factors that can contribute to social isolation in youth
  • Examining the health concerns related to age and loneliness 
  • The impact of transitional periods in an individual's life and how this can contribute to isolation and loneliness 

12:40   Questions and Discussion

13:00   Lunch and Networking

13:45   Session 3: Creating a Kinder Scotland  

  • Evaluating the impact of community engagement 
  • Creating more inclusive services

14:50   Questions and Discussion

15:20   Closing Remarks from Chair

15:30   Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change



This briefing will be held in central Edinburgh. The venue will be confirmed in due course. 


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email enquiries@holyrood.com or call 0131 285 1635.

13 February 2018



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