Community Cohesion | Boltons Health Matters
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Community Cohesion

The giving and receiving of informal acts of help, or kindliness, is taken for granted in many communities. However this is an area which is little researched or understood.

This paper:

  • As well as the social and physical environment, we also need to understand conflicting emotions and messages about help and support, and the complex ways in which people negotiate these.

  • Individualism, self-reliance and ideals of independence can impact on people’s ability to ask for or accept help from others. 

  • Public spaces, the development of community facilities as ‘hubs of helping’, and creating more ‘palatable’ ways of presenting help all impacted on people’s willingness to accept help.

  • In Hebden Bridge the energy of incomers, drawing on new ideas and technologies, worked alongside older forms of neighbourhood-based community solidarity, and this provided a fertile ground for the development of new networks.

This resource can be accessed by clicking here:

The Neighbourhood approaches to loneliness programme looked at reducing loneliness in four differing areas, working with residents, recruiting community researchers, and in partnership with local organisations. This evaluation highlights its impact on individuals and communities, and lessons for similar programmes.

The report:

  • highlights that good practice requires skilled staff who are able to communicate effectively and provide pastoral support to volunteers;
  • reveals how community researchers changed because of their involvement in the programme;
  • demonstrates where was wide community impact; and
  • shares wider lessons from taking a neighbourhood approach.


Map showing prevalence of current levels of population that disagree with the statement 'I feel like I belong in this neighbourhood within Bolton at MSOA (Middle Super Output Area) level. Taken from Bolton Health Survey 2010.

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