Social, economic and health impacts of WaveLength's work with loneliness and isolation

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project participant(s)

Department / unit(s)


WaveLength is a charitable organisation which provides televisions, radios and tablet computers to vulnerable and isolated people living in poverty, with the aim of reducing loneliness and social isolation. WaveLength has commissioned exploratory qualitative research to explore the impact of its work.

The overarching aim of the project will be to understand the ways and means through which media technology contributes to reducing loneliness and social isolation among vulnerable groups. The research will seek to understand what difference the technologies provided by WaveLength have made in different domains of an individual’s life – including emotional, social and economic – contributing to their overall sense of wellbeing and ‘connectedness’.

Qualitative interviews and focus groups will be conducted with organisations and individuals who have received equipment from WaveLength. Core research questions will include:

How are people using the technology provided by WaveLength?
What forms of media are they consuming via this technology?
How is the technology contributing to increasing social interaction and building relationships?
How is the technology contributing to subjective improvements in health, happiness and well-being
How do people feel their lives are being enhanced in terms of connection and engagement with others?
What practical or economic impacts are derived from the technology?
How might WaveLength's offer be improved through expansion into other types of equipment or services?
A brief literature review will also be conducted as background to the empirical research.

Policy and Practice Aims
The research findings will be used by WaveLength to engage in discussions with government bodies, broadcasting organisations and potential funders about the impact and value of their work, and to influence policy around developments in broadcast media, particularly digital and online services.

It is hoped that this initial piece of research will be built upon with a larger scale multi-method evaluation of WaveLength’s activities and their impact.
Effective start/end date11/05/1531/08/15

Award relations

Social, economic and health impacts of WaveLength's work with loneliness and isolation

Irvine, A. L., Hill, A. K. & Webber, M. P.


Award date: 1/06/15

Award: UK Charity

Research outputs

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