Why are social connections important? Organisations that draw, and build, on the social value of people’s relationships and communities will tap into wider sources of emotional and practical support which cannot be provided by practitioners alone.
Social connections can be any meaningful contact with another - for example, friends, family, neighbours and community members or new people with shared experiences. When it comes to changing behaviour, it can be particularly helpful to meet others with similar goals and experiences; realising you’re not alone in your experience and believing that things can change can be an important source of motivation.
Taking part in social activities can improve health and wellbeing through learning from others - for example, sharing health information, practising new behaviours and supporting each other's successes (see Celebrating success). Social connections can be harnessed to help people move towards their goals - for example, by creating shared goals with friends or by asking family and friends not to tempt them away from their goals.
If social activities are being offered, they should be delivered in a way that feels inclusive and safe enough for anyone to take part (whether face to face or virtually), recognising not everyone has the same amount of time, money or confidence in social situations.
Using the information above, start to brainstorm ideas to try out in your organisation or community. Think about how to co-design ideas with other practitioners and people in the local community who could benefit from Good Help. Use the map below to help you test and develop your ideas.
Explore the next Good Help characteristicEnabling environments