The Young Foundation, on behalf of the Essex Partners and the West Essex Health and Wellbeing Board, undertook a 5-month action research project, from late June – September 2017, to increase social action in three communities in Uttlesford to reduce isolation and loneliness.

The project took place in the neighbourhoods of Saffron Walden, Little Bardfield, Takeley and Little Canfield.

The aim was to learn more about the social networks and connections that exist in these communities so that local stakeholders can work together to best support the people and projects that are contributing to community wellbeing and reducing isolation and loneliness.

It involved a range of qualitative research methods including interviews, informal conversations and mapping activities with stakeholders, residents and groups. Community events arranged in each neighbourhood shared the insights and kicked off a discussion about next steps for supporting local social action.

The partners include: Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council, Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Uttlesford CVS and Volunteer Centre, Anglia Ruskin University Health Lab and West Essex CCG.