What Works Wellbeing guide on measuring loneliness

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Photo by US Army Africa CC BY 2.0

The What Works Wellbeing charity has launched a brief guide on measuring loneliness. It is aimed at charities and social enterprises.

The guide has been developed based on a set of questions recommended by the Office for National Statistics and a panel of experts.

The guide is aimed at anyone wanting to understand the impact of their charity on loneliness, especially people with responsibility for monitoring and evaluation. It takes a realistic approach to evaluation to avoid overloading charities and the people they support with too many questions. It acknowledges the strengths of small organisations in collecting evidence about people’s personal journeys, and gives advice on how to have conversations about a sometimes difficult and sensitive topic.

For organisations that work to alleviate loneliness and help people feel more connected, the guidance sets out:

  • what we mean by loneliness and what the evidence says so far;
  • the national measures for adults and children, and how to use them;
  • other related measures that can help build a picture of people’s social relationships;
  • how to have conversations about loneliness and capture qualitative data;
  • how to make sense of your results, and how to compare your findings to a national picture.

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