This is the third in a series of posts on our loneliness work - part one is here with part two here

In the previous posts we've done our preamble and outlined the things we wanted to avoid.

So let's reveal our simple Lab vision for a community where conditions are best set to limit loneliness:

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As we discussed in our last post - Bromford are already working on the first one. It has passed the Lab stage following a number of pilots - we have reached proof of concept and have evidence to support scaling it.  The implementation team are busy making it happen. 

So...the first concept we'll be testing is how to create a bump space in every community.

Nurture Development have posted about the bumping habits of the Spanish - with their common plazas, well equipped with benches and places to stop and talk. 

Bump spaces are places for those 'accidental encounters' to happen, but what's the best way to stimulate more of these conversations? 

Do these encounters need to coincide with natural walking routes, or would a bespoke space allow 'bumping' to happen more frequently? 

Should bumping spaces be anchored around a need or interest (think 'men in sheds' schemes) or just the fact that people will be passing by frequently (think park bench)? Is it more appropriate for young, middle or older aged people? Do they have to be physical at all - or can we replicate a 'bump' digitally - like Pokemon Go is with augmented reality 'gyms'?


We've agreed with our project sponsor that initially we should test this in two communities. We want this very much developed by the community rather than imposed top down.

The idea of picking just two is that - if it works - the teams themselves can scale and spread the concept without relying on a Lab approach (thereby mainstreaming innovation).

You'll be able to view the full test plan and watch it develop here. And we'll be continuing this series of posts next week.