Ring Round (working title)

Let's hack the tech used for volunteer phonebanks to tackle social isolation.

Hereto_angel Submitted by Jon Foster
FutureGov Team Hack
What could FutureGov fix in a week?

Social isolation is a massive problem. I could reel off harrowing stat after harrowing stat to prove that, but you all know it and I'm pushed for time - so let's not worry.

I will however share this article which says "Nearly 2 million older people with mild cognitive impairment in the UK are at risk of developing dementia. It is this population who can benefit from daily interaction ranging from medication reminders to video calls." http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2013/jul/11/reduce-social-isolation-declining-social-care-budgets

What if we used the same technology that mobilises millions of US political phonebank volunteers every year to connect volunteers with a spare 5 minutes to a socially isolated older person.

See Conversation tab for my initial thoughts (wouldn't fit here :( )

  • Jon Foster
    22 Jul at 20:23

    Some thoughts:
    - Can develop 'long distance' friendships between volunteer and recipient
    - (Tech) barrier to entry is low for recipient (needs a phone) and volunteer (computer and phone, or phone app?)
    - Regular contact with the same volunteer would allow the volunteer to spot and report deterioration in health or wellbeing of recipient.
    - Volunteers could receive basic training on how to spot issues that need action (e.g. recipient mentions they are getting breathless, volunteer puts that on the app and recipients community nurse is notified).
    - Potentially good for corporate volunteering programmes - really good lunchtime activity to encourage employees to take part in.

  • Jon Foster
    25 Jul at 13:04

    Ooh, good point!