Connecting Communities 2019

20 June 2019

at 9.30am to 2.30 pm TBC

Location: St Ives Corn Exchange, the Pavement, St Ives, Cambridge PE27 5AD




Connecting Communities 2019

Tackling loneliness: a community response


Join us to Care, Dare and Share as we create a community response to tackling loneliness and isolation in our communities.

Loneliness is a growing problem in our society, and it’s increasingly recognised as being closely linked to physical and mental health issues. The government is starting to take this matter seriously, but the voluntary sector can play a key role too. We often have better local knowledge than statutory agencies; we know our communities because we are a part of them.

People who are trapped in unwanted social isolation might be seen by community organisations as a complex challenge and a big drain on the organisation’s resources, particularly where health issues are involved. Our conference aims to turn this around. Lonely people’s health issues are often the result of social isolation rather than the cause. Think of them as volunteers rather than beneficiaries, and everyone can benefit. Rather than being a drain on resources, they can become assets.

By playing an active role in reaching out to the lonely, we can increase our ability to deliver the services we exist for. But first we have to:

CARE to make a difference and help tackle loneliness;
DARE to reach out and welcome;
SHARE the positives, share the benefits and share best practice.

To find out more, please join us at the Connecting Communities conference at the Corn Exchange, St Ives on Thursday 20th June.

Through a series of workshops and speakers we will:

  • Discover how to identify and reach out to volunteers who are lonely and isolated
  • Learn how to engage and retain these volunteers
  • Help remove the stigma and prejudice towards unwanted isolation
  • Experience some of the innovative ideas others have developed
  • Realise the difference we can make together

Join us to Care, Dare, Share.

This event is FREE to attend for any community group that works or operates in Cambridgeshire. Please contact or call 01480 420603 to book your place.


UPDATE: We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker, Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon is the National Shed Development Manager for the UK’s Men’s Shed Association. Her current role involves developing programmes with the support of the extensive volunteer network based around the 470 community led sheds which now exist in the UK.

Kate has many years’ experience in the Charitable sector. From 2011 to 2017 she worked for a national conservation charity, the Woodland Trust where she was responsible for fundraising and delivering high-profile projects to improve the natural landscape and create woodlands which promote health and well-being. Recruiting, developing and working closely with volunteers was at the heart of all the projects she has managed – from planting 6 million trees across the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee to organising a series of large scale community events, each attended by over 2000 people.

In her personal time, she is a Director of a Community Interest Company taking forward a grass roots community project to transform a piece of derelict land left in her Nana’s will. The Ruby’s Yard project is working closely with individuals and teams of volunteers to turn an old boat yard (along Coventry canal) into a community venue for local people to socialise, learn new skills, prevent loneliness and improve physical health and mental well-being.


Connecting Communities 2019 is delivered by Support Cambridgeshire and funded by Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.


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