A Connected Scotland: tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger communities

This strategy sets out our vision for a Scotland where everyone has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships, regardless of age, status, circumstance, or identity.


This draft strategy has been developed following the last Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee Inquiry into Age and Social Isolation [1] which set out a number of findings and recommendations. One of these recommendations was to produce a national strategy to tackle social isolation and loneliness. The other recommendations highlight specific areas that need attention, and we evaluate the progress we have made to date at the end of this document. Subsequently, a commitment to take this work forward was made in the 2016 Programme for Government [2] .

In that context, this draft Strategy seeks to:

  • articulate a vision of the kind of Scotland we want to see, where community connections are increased and no one is excluded from participating in society for any reason
  • define what we understand concepts of social isolation and loneliness to be, and the degree to which they are prevalent in Scotland today
  • highlight what we've heard so far in our process of engaging with stakeholders throughout the development of the draft Strategy
  • set out how we want to empower communities to lead efforts to tackle social isolation and loneliness, in the context of our approach to community empowerment
  • highlight the Government's own work in this area and clearly link this to the broader policy context in which we're operating
  • facilitate discussion amongst organisations and individuals about what needs to be done to effectively tackle social isolation and loneliness in Scotland

As this is a consultation, we want to hear from you. There are three key questions that form the basis of this consultation.

Question 1: What needs to change in your community to reduce social isolation and loneliness and increase the range and quality of social connections?

Question 2: Who is key at local level in driving this change, and what do you want to see them doing more (or less) of?

Question 3: What does Government need to do nationally to better empower communities and create the conditions to allow social connections to flourish?

In addition to these broad questions, we have posed a number of more specific questions throughout the document and we invite you to answer any that are relevant based on your knowledge, experience or interests. We appreciate that you may find some of the questions difficult to answer, and would ask that you use them as a guide whilst focusing on telling us what you feel is important to you.


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