Age UK Cornwall hosted the first Rural Diversity Network Twitter takeover of 2020 at the end of January. The conversation marked the start of a monthly campaign, run by Cornwall Museum Partnership (CMP) to open commentary around some of the major problems faced in the county.
WHO ARE THE CORNWALL MUSEUM PARTNERSHIP?
The Cornwall Museum Partnership is a registered charity, funded by the likes of the lottery heritage fund, Arts Council and Cornwall Council, to deliver support for Cornwall’s many museums. Their charity exists to help the Cornish museums thrive through their assistance and ensure our communities have enriching experiences in these vital spaces.
WHAT IS THE RURAL DIVERSITY NETWORK?
The Cornwall Museum Partnership charity runs The Rural Diversity Network, and it aims to tackle geographic exclusion in our rural county. The network is a platform to discuss ways of removing barriers for Cornish residents to access the services, activities and events they need to live happy and independent lives. The Rural Diversity Network chat (#RDNetwork) is a safe space to delve into topics and discuss possible solutions.
To mark the start of the new decade, Cornwall Museum Partnership reached out to Age UK Cornwall to talk about social isolation in the older demographic. Of course, social isolation does not discriminate and can affect people of any age, at any time. However, from Age UK Cornwall’s experience, they see social isolation as a significant influence in older people’s lives, especially in this county.
The Rural Diversity Network runs monthly, hosting conversations around the last day of the month. Topics will vary from month-to-month, with the Cornwall Museum Partnership announcing the subject on their Twitter page. They team up with relevant organisations to take over their Twitter account for the assigned hour. Everyone is invited to join in to share their thoughts on the questions asked by the takeover.
Keep an eye on the Cornwall Museum Partnership talks by following their Twitter page.
WHAT DID PEOPLE SAY ABOUT SOCIAL ISOLATION?
Age UK Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly split the hour into four open questions to encourage a rich dialogue. The questions asked of the #RDNetwork followers were:
- How do we better support an ageing population?
- What are the biggest barriers facing you when trying to reach your local community?
- Is digital technology a good way to reduce social isolation?
- Share your good and bad experience of loneliness.
The Twitter Takeover resulted in many wonderful responses and discussions.
The Marketing and Communications Lead for Age UK Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, Lee Davies, led the Twitter talk for the collaboration. He said after the event:
“It was such a privilege to #TakeOver the Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP) Twitter page in late January. By working together, we could reach a wider audience and highlight some of the big questions facing older individuals across Cornwall. Your compassionate responses showed just how many people want to make a difference and improve well-being in their local areas. We aim to work with many more like-minded organisations and better connect people to the Cornish community.”
The main point to come out of the talk was digital’s role in connecting communities as part of holistic approaches to support. Individuals agreed that digital only works if it genuinely answers a human need, just like our community platform of Cornwall Link. From the talk, everyone recognised the importance of the services in the county to tackle social isolation. We hope that with the support of organisations and individuals in Cornwall we can combat the loneliness prevalent in our county and we can aim for a more #ConnectedCornwall.
You can read the full story here: https://www.cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk/social-isolation-rdnetwork/
Infographic credit: Cornwall Museum Partnership