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What works in tackling social isolation of older people in Bangladeshi Communities

Older people in small, tight-knit marginalised ethnic minority communities are at higher risk of social isolation, and some community members are at particularly high risk due to intersecting barriers from multiple factors.


Our new briefing shares transferable learning from our Community Navigators project delivered by British Red Cross, that worked with small, tight-knit ethnic minority communities – Bangladeshi communities – in Greater Manchester.


The recommendations within the briefing look at how you can work working effectively and sensitively with these communities and about risks of social isolation that they face.


We hope this briefing will be useful for policy makers when designing similar community support models and as useful evidence for community groups advocating for the needs of specific ethnic minority communities.


Our key learning includes:

  1. It is important to work in a culturally sensitive way with a community’s values to ensure you reach those at higher risk of social isolation within that community.


  1. Intersecting barriers and characteristics can increase the risk of social isolation for some people, and this needs to be accounted for when planning projects.


  1. Group work can be incredibly valuable when working within some communities to tackle social isolation, including the Community Navigator model. A ‘one size fits all’ approaches to building social connection will not work with all communities and may disadvantage some of the most marginalised people who stand to benefit the most from increased connection.


  1. It is important to support project workers to be creative and adaptable when working in a culturally sensitive way.


  1. Co-design with community members is essential to ensure projects are culturally aware, appropriate, and effective.


Printed copies of the documents will be available to order, free of charge, from Ambition for Ageing. Please contact us to put in an order.    


If you would like a representative from Ambition for Ageing to present the findings of this research at an event you are holding, or you would like to have further discussion about the work, we’d love to chat. Contact us and we’ll be in touch.


The briefing is available to download below.