Exploring Military Widows’ Experiences of Social Isolation and Loneliness

This two-year study purposively aimed to capture the experiences of military widows irrespective of the circumstances surrounding their partner’s death.  Therefore, in this study, military widow(er)s are recognised as the partner of personnel who died whilst in service, or of a veteran who died following their military service. 

The project, developed by Northumbria University in collaboration with the War Widows Association, was funded by Forces in Mind Trust. The research team worked closely with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows’ Association, Army Widows’ Association, and Royal Air Force Widows’ Association.

The study aimed to map and understand war widows’ experiences, identify the social participation services available to them and examine their unmet needs, and will inform national debate and lead to the development of policy recommendations and guidance for service provision.

The study consisted of three phases: a survey, individual interviews and a stakeholder workshop. The survey aimed to determine levels and experiences of loneliness and social isolation experienced by military widows. The individual interviews provided a more in-depth understanding of experiences of social isolation and loneliness experienced by military widows, including available services and unmet needs of military widows.

Click on the image below to read the full report.

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