Ambition for Ageing Seminar:Best Friends Forever? Friendships in Older Age and Hidden Social Isolation

 Registration is closed for this event
This is the second seminar in the Spring / Summer series of MICRA seminars delivered as part of the Ambition for Ageing programme.

This session will involving the sharing of ongoing research undertaken at the University of Manchester by Natalie Cotterell and Kingsley Purdam. It will look at how social isolation is measured and how we can better understand its impact on peoples' lives. This will include the role friends have played in our lives, how we make new friends and how we deal with the loss of friends as we get older. There will be a chance to share your memories, thoughts, ideas and tips about friendships and how to tackle social isolation in later life.

Older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness, which, in later life, has been identified as a health risk. Many older people in the UK live alone and report feeling lonely and are identified as being socially isolated. This can also be the case for people living in shared housing. We need your ideas about how social isolation, loneliness and friendships can be researched. Please come along and share your experiences about the role friendship has played in your life. Why are friendships important to you? What can you remember about the friends you had when you were at school? What tips can you share for keeping friendships going and for making new friends? If you can, please bring along a photo of a friend who has been important in your life.

Speakers' biographies

- Kingsley Purdham

Dr. Kingsley Purdam is an in expert research methods and in public consultation with a specific focus on civic society, citizen involvement and policy making. He has successfully completed a range of national research projects across social policy areas in both the public and private sector. He has held a number of senior roles including: Director of Postgraduate Teaching, Short Course Programme Director and Director of Academic Staff Training.

Kingsley's work is widely published in leading journals including: Current SociologyEuropean Sociological Review, European Societies, Environment and Planning, Policy Studies, Local Government Studies, Journal of Civil Society, Radical Statistics, Political Geography, Sociology and The British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

In his capacity as a lecturer at the University of Manchester, Kingsley currently teaches a number of one-day courses for practitioners and policy makers. He is also a cartoonist and his work is regularly published in a number of leading current affairs publications.

- Natalie Cotterell

Natalie completed a BSc (hons) in Psychology and International Study at the University of Manchester in 2014, spending a year at Complutense University of Madrid, a specialist public research institution. She then worked as a project officer for a third sector organisation specialising in understanding the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services with a view to improving these services. After this, Natalie returned to the University of Manchester and gained an MSc in Health Psychology before beginning her PhD in September 2017. Under the working title of Growing old in the city: tackling social isolation in later life, Natalie’s PhD seeks to advance knowledge and help to develop policy recommendations to reduce social isolation among older people living in urban environments. Her work pro-actively involves the training of older people as co-researchers to identify examples of good practice in order to assist neighbourhood organisations in assessing the impact of social isolation in the over 50s.

The agenda will be as follows:

  • 13:30 - 14:00 - Refreshments and networking opportunity
  • 14:00 - 15:30 - Seminar and discussion
  • 15:30 - 16:00 - Further networking opportunity

To book your place at this seminar, please follow this link at the top or bottom of this page. If you have any questions or would like to be booked onto the course, please contact Juliette on or 0161 277 1001.

PLEASE NOTE: As these seminars are public events, we are unable to pay travel expenses. 

16th May, 2018 1:30 PM through  4:00 PM
St Thomas Centre
Ardwick Green North
Manchester, M12 6FZ
Phone: 0161 277 1001

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