Identifying the need for befriending support

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch West Sussex worked with the Horsham District Befriending Support Survey to identify the need for befriending.  They undertook a survey to which 244 people responded.

The results show a decrease in emotional, mental and physical health today compared with pre-pandemic lockdown self-reported. Many significant life changes have occurred since the pandemic began for some respondents such as: changes in health, working from home, changes in relationships, bereavement. All well documented life events that are known causes of isolation and loneliness.

Over half of respondents answering the Isolation and Loneliness questions felt they lacked companionship, felt left out of things, isolated or socially excluded. However, many showed resilience by finding other things to do – general activities -going for walks, reading, listening to music, calling friends. Some have joined groups and volunteered.

Some found the pandemic lockdown guidance tricky due to hearing loss, not being supported by work, and difficulties accessing NHS services for health issues. Many people reported that they have limited confidence or motivation to go out and socialise or join face to face groups. One area of concern for some is not knowing if others have been vaccinated.

The things people liked about living in Horsham is: open spaces, cafes, shopping, seating area and community groups.

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General details

Report title 
Identifying the need for befriending support
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Thursday, 3 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 9 July, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 November, 2021
Key themes 
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Voluntary and Community Sector
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.