Community Connecting

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The service aims to reduce social isolation and support individuals to establish/ re-establish sustainable connections with their communities. People coming to the service have often lost confidence after a fall, illness or bereavement.

What you did?

A Community Connecting service had previously been piloted in two areas of the city. Evaluation and feedback was positive.

Community Connecting is a service for older people (aged 65+) living in Edinburgh.  The service supports older people to build networks and links into local opportunities and activities.  Volunteers are recruited, trained and supported to work with older people to identify things they would like to do and support them to start doing them.

The Change Fund Core Group agreed to fund the development of a city wide service.  A procurement exercise was carried out, led by a Project Board which included representation from all sectors.  Four contracts were awarded to voluntary sector providers for each of the four sectors of the city.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

The objectives of the service are to:

  • Enable service users to stay in their own home for longer
  • Delay the need for access to higher levels of home/day services
  • Provide short breaks for carers
  • Increase or maintain the level of independence
  • Produce a positive impact for people using the service including: building        confidence, reducing loneliness and giving older people a choice in the activities they want to get involved in.

The service aims to support 720 people per year.  The contracts started on 1 October 2012; 185 people were supported between October 2012 and May 2013.  The service providers worked with Evaluation Support Scotland to develop a consistent approach to evaluation, including evidencing individual outcomes which are at the heart of this service.

The Evaluation tool is available here

The Evaluation Story is available here

Contacts - to find out more



Caroline Clark,  0131 469 3220