We're tackling loneliness.
In 2015 we asked our members to tell us the big issues facing their communities. Overwhelmingly, they voted for us to tackle loneliness with the support of the British Red Cross.
Co-op members and colleagues have raised a huge:
to tackle loneliness in communities throughout the UK.
What we’re doing with the money
With the money raised, we are funding new British Red Cross services (rolled out in May and June 2017) in almost 40 locations across the UK.
These services, developed from the findings from our research, will help thousands of people reconnect with their local communities by providing up to 12 weeks' support to:
- build confidence
- address practical or psychological barriers
- help people find activities and groups in their local community
Because we have smashed our original fundraising target of £3.5m, we will be working with the British Red Cross to look at ways we can support even more people who are experiencing loneliness to re-connect with their communities.
"What I loved so much was that they didn't say to me you've been doing this wrong, you've been doing that wrong, never judged me, they just listened... People who are lonely just want someone to talk to for a few weeks to maybe signpost them in the direction of clubs they can join, things they can do... It is invaluable, it is absolutely invaluable." Dave, beneficiary
What we're doing as a business
We’re changing the way our business operates to better recognise loneliness by:
- supporting thousands of community groups through our new membership offer, helping to build strong community connections
- relaunching our Employee Assistance Programme, allowing Co-op colleagues to confidentially seek support, including signposting to British Red Cross services
- expanding and developing our social groups for the bereaved through our funeral business; providing people with ongoing care and social support
- sponsoring Neighbourhood Watch to set up 30,000 new groups over four years to help strengthen and bring communities and neighbours together, including communications and support around loneliness
How you can help
You can volunteer to help people experiencing loneliness.
If you would like some support call British Red Cross on 0344 871 11 11 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm, standard call charges apply)
- Tackling Loneliness Together
- Loneliness Action Group Shadow Report September 2019
- Loneliness service locations
- Trapped in a bubble (loneliness research)
- Barriers to belonging (loneliness research)
- Cost of loneliness research
- Shared learning: connecting communities
- Shared learning: fulfilling the promise