Developing social contact models in a time of social distancing

GMCVO-led project Ambition for Ageing has released a new report to help build more effective social connection projects for older people during the new operating environment of COVID-19.

As national and local rules change in response to infection rates, this report offers guidance that can be applicable in a number of different scenarios, from a world where social distancing is the norm to one where we return to complete lockdown. It is important that we focus planning on how we live with COVID-19 rather than how we reconstruct after it.

In order to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus some social activities are going to be limited and can’t proceed as they once could. In addition, as different people perceive and react to risk in different ways, social connection is best developed by taking a person centered approach and with recognition that there are as many solutions as there are people.

Within the report, we provide a number of tools and examples to help service providers, community groups and commissioners consider what social contact models will look like now and in the future. This includes:

  • A number of design principles to best meet the needs of older people

  • A checklist of challenges to consider when designing or restarting projects

  • A collection of case studies of projects compatible with social distancing with key learning

To help make this report into a practical document, we have pulled out sections of relevance that can be used independently, as well as alongside the full report.

The full suite of documents is available as follows:

  • Full Report: Contains all other documents and additional information    

  • Executive Summary: A summary of the full report

  • Design Principles and Challenges Checklist: What you need to know when designing and restarting projects.    

  • Projects compatible with social distancing: Contains a collection of case studies of projects compatible with social distancing with key learning 

The documents are  available to download below.

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