Tuesday 11 June 2019

The IsLAND project (Isolation & Loneliness Action Networks Derbyshire)

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network (DTBN) was established in 2012 with funding from Derbyshire County Council Adult Care as part of its Prevention Strategy, to ensure that adults needing befriending support could access services and could be confident that they were safe and well run. Originally the network’s membership was traditional 1:1 befriending services but its remit has widened over time to include informal, group and peer support and to tackling wider loneliness and isolation agendas. The network also developed a quality assurance scheme - the DTBN Quality Mark, aimed at small organisations.

County Council funding ended in 2018 but we can announce today that 3 years of funding has been secured from the National Lottery Community Fund for a new initiative! The IsLAND project aims to take the work of DTBN forward, and to tackle loneliness and isolation in Derbyshire by:

  • Reaching more people across Derbyshire who are lonely and isolated, and helping them to access appropriate support
  • Providing specialist training that will enable services to offer effective support to people with more complex needs;
  • Expanding the network to include more varied organisations / services that tackle loneliness and isolation, and quality assuring their services;
  • Raising awareness of social isolation and its impact, recruiting more volunteers and encouraging informal social action.

This will include developing a new website, so watch this space!

If you would like to know more, please contact Cathy Miles (Manager - Community) or Helen Frudd (Support Worker - Community) at South Derbyshire CVS on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Wednesday 20 March 2019

NAVCA Awards

The Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network was shortlisted in the ‘Collaboration and Partnership Working’ category of the NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) Awards in London on 19 March.

Rich Murrell, DTBN Co-ordinator, and DTBN steering group member Dave Radford (from the Volunteer Centre Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire) attended - pictured below with NAVCA's CEO Jane Ide and Chair of the Board, John Tizard.

The Network didn’t win, but it was good to be recognised. Congratulations to all the winners! You can see a full list of them here: https://navca.org.uk/navca-awards-winners


Monday 11 March 2019

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network Shortlisted for National Award!

The Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network, supported and co-ordinated by South Derbyshire CVS, has been shortlisted for the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) Awards in the ‘Collaboration and Partnership Working’ category and we have been invited to their Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 19th March in London where we will find out whether we have won! 

Being shortlisted is recognition, at a national level, for all the hard work that the Network of services from across the county has put in over the past 7 years.  

What is NAVCA? NAVCA is the only national membership body specifically for local sector support and development organisations (also known as local infrastructure) in England. Alongside their members they are part of the movement for local social action. Its members support over 145,000 local charities and voluntary groups across the country, helping them to thrive and deliver essential services within their communities. Through NAVCA, members can share knowledge, experience and best practice. And through NAVCA members have a voice in key national forums – ensuring that their views, opinions and concerns are heard. To find out more visit their website: https://navca.org.uk/


Monday 4 March 2019

HumanKind - Stories of loneliness and isolation at Calke Abbey

For more than thirty years, the story of Calke Abbey and its significance has been built around the story of a reclusive and socially-isolated family who guarded the Estate from modern life and lived eccentric, disconnected lives. Today, as awareness grows of the enormous challenges posed by loneliness and the harmful impact of social isolation on more and more lives, the National Trust are looking afresh at Calke’s past, reassessing the stories told about this place and exploring their potential to foster more, and more meaningful, contemporary human connections.

HumanKind is a research-led collaboration between the National Trust and the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries at the University of Leicester.

You can read more about the project here: www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/rcmg/projects/isolationandloneliness

The Guardian newspaper has also run a good article on the project: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/mar/01/start-talking-national-trust-initiative-tackles-issue-of-loneliness


Tuesday 26th February 2019

‘IsLAND’ OFFERS support to help isolated and lonely people in Derbyshire

Community efforts to tackle isolation and loneliness in Derbyshire are to receive a boost from the National Lottery Community Fund. 

The IsLAND Project (Isolation and Loneliness Action Networks Derbyshire) will support local voluntary organisations and community services to work together and reach more isolated and lonely people.

This will include raising awareness of social isolation and its impact, finding new ways to reach out and support people, and encouraging more people to take action in their community to prevent people being lonely. The project will also offer specialist training for staff and volunteers to better understand and support people who have complex needs, such as dementia and mental health conditions.

The project will be managed by Swadlincote-based charity South Derbyshire CVS.  Kerrie Fletcher, Corporate Services Manager, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have this new funding, which will help grassroots voluntary and community groups across the county work together to tackle social isolation.

“We know that being lonely has a terrible impact on people’s health and quality of life - equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  We also know that small interventions can really help. By encouraging and supporting individuals, groups and communities to take action we can all make a difference.”

The project will build on the work of Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network, expanding its membership and remit to address wider issues of social isolation.  Research by the network estimated the value of the support its members provide in mitigating social isolation is worth £7 million per year but costs £800K – a social return on investment of £8.59 for every £1 spent.

Anyone interested in supporting the project or wanting to know more should contact Rich Murrell at South Derbyshire CVS on 01283 219761 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wednesday 7th November 2018

Local Action to Tackle Loneliness Across Derbyshire

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network has this week launched a report on the findings of the conference it held over the summer. The launch of the report, Turning the TIDE: Tackling Isolation and Loneliness in Derbyshire Eventcoincides with national Befriending Week 2018.

The ‘Turning the TIDE’ conference in July brought together a wide range of organisations and groups in order to hear about the great work that has taken place across Derbyshire to tackle loneliness and isolation but to also look at the issues and obstacles facing service providers and service users, and then come up with some solutions.

The main findings from the Turning the TIDE conference were that:

  • there is a great demand across the county which isn’t being met and this is only likely to increase because of an ageing population and the increase in loneliness and isolation for people with more complex needs, such as dementia and mental health;

  • the lack of funding – and funding coming to an end – will mean that fewer people in Derbyshire will be able to access support so this will result in an increase in the number and extent of lonely and isolated people across the county;

  • there are opportunities to provide services / activities that tackle loneliness and isolation but new ways of working by everyone will be needed. This will include:

o   working with funders to safeguard and grow provision of services in Derbyshire

o   improving the way we work together within communities and across sectors to share information about what is available

o   building on existing models to develop new befriending models based on evidence of what works (groups, peer led, social media, telephone etc.)

o   encouraging more people to give time to address loneliness & isolation

o   exploring new funding models.

The Turning the TIDE report builds on the research that was carried out into the value and impact of befriending services in Derbyshire launched in November 2017, which showed that people receiving support from befriending services say that it reduces isolation and improves their social and community connections, independence and wellbeing. It also showed that for every £1 spent on providing these services the social benefits and cost savings to other services are worth £8.59. To read the research report visit: https://sdcvs.org.uk/images/Befriending_Research/DTBN_Report_FINAL_web.pdf.

The launch of the Turning the TIDE report is also well timed as the government has just launched its ‘Loneliness Strategy’ which shows its commitment to improving understanding of loneliness, embedding loneliness across government policy, and building a national conversation on loneliness. This is a welcome development and the DTBN has released its response to the Strategy.  To find out what it has to say about the Strategy visit South Derbyshire CVS’s website: https://sdcvs.org.uk/news?id=345.

So what happens now? Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network wants to work with local communities and decision makers to make sure we maintain and build on the good work that has taken place to date. BUT WE NEED TO TAKE COLLECTIVE ACTION NOW before we lose services and let many lonely and isolated people down.

How you can help

  • Do you have ideas about how we could tackle loneliness and isolation?

  • Can you give your time as a volunteer at one of the befriending projects?

  • Do you have a pot of money that could help deliver projects?

  • Do you design services and want to work with us to ensure there is consistent offer across Derbyshire?

Richard Murrell, DTBN Co-ordinator said:

“We know that befriending services are a vital part of people’s lives all over Derbyshire which help to make sure that they are not lonely or isolated. The Turning the TIDE report highlights this great work and adds to the research carried out last year that helped make the financial case for investment in these amazing services.”

“While both of these reports help us to better understand the issues, we need organisations and groups to actively play their part in providing the solutions to tackle loneliness and isolation - so we are putting out a ‘call to action’ to ask everyone to work with us in helping people across Derbyshire. This will then help the government to deliver its Loneliness Strategy”.

Contact Richard on 01283 219761 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.