The morning program was devoted to the presentation of the results of the project and also to the exchange of knowledge and ideas. For this, we had the pleasure to welcome several people and organisations:
Brigitte van der Zanden: Director of euPrevent, partner of the project and member of a non-profit organisation and a Euroregional network that promotes the quality of life of citizens in the border regions of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Marja Veenstra: Lead project manager at Citizen Power Limburg and project coordinator of the euPrevent PROFILE project.
Luc Stevens and the KBO Heerlen for the play “Starlight”: One of the actions carried by the project is the setting up of theatrical representations around solitude. For this, we worked with Luc Stevens, producer and director, around the play “Starlight”. A part of the play was played during the day with an introduction by Mr Stevens. We also welcomed the KBO Heerlen troupe (a special interest group who was founded on 20 October 1988 with the main aim of protecting the interests of the older), which performs in Dutch for the project.
Lise Switsers (keynote speaker) from the Thomas More lecturer, University of Applied Sciences, researcher at the Center of Expertise for Care and Wellness. She shared insights on a life course perspective on loneliness and inspired us to think more positive about loneliness.
The panel speakers:
1. Thomas Hax-Schoppenhorst (Germany): He is a speaker, author and publisher. From 2020-2022, he served as an expert on mental health in the Enquête Commission “Loneliness and its Consequences” in the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament.
2. Dr Frans Verhey (the Netherlands): He is professor of Neuro- and geriatric psychiatry at Maastricht University, founder and former co-director of the Alzheimer Centre Limburg
3. Lise Switers (Flanders): She states the importance of adding a life course perspective in order to combat loneliness later in life. Nowadays she is conducting research at Thomas More on loneliness in relation to informal caregiving as well as on how to prevent and address loneliness.
4. Coraline Dubois (Wallonia): Socio-anthropologist, she has worked in the voluntary sector in the fields of continuing education and interculturality. For the past 6 years, Coraline has held the position of thematic referent for ageing and loneliness at the Belgian Red Cross. She provides methodological support and training for coordinators and field volunteers working with people made vulnerable by isolation, with a particular focus on the elderly.