26 April 2016
A charity partnership between The Co-operative Group and the British Red Cross has raised over £1million in just eight months.
The innovative partnership launched last July. It aims to highlight and tackle loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.
The Co-op has over 70,000 staff and five million members across the UK. They have raised funds through a variety of ways.
Money has come from the sale of festive sandwiches and egg promotions for Pancake Day. Staff fundraising events saw 22 store managers and community pioneers walking for four and a half hours from the Co-op food store in Fishpool to the Co-op headquarters in Angel Square, Manchester.
Coming up: Big Red Weekend
As part of Red Cross Week (8-14 May), Co-op employees will be fundraising through their own Big Red Weekend activities.
Co-op shop staff across the country will be dressing in red and taking part in fun activities such as the Bristol Red Shoe Walk to help raise money for the partnership.
Chief executive of the Red Cross, Mike Adamson, said: “We are blown away by the achievement of Co-op’s staff and members in raising this amount of money in just eight months.
“The enthusiasm and dedication shown towards this Red Cross partnership has been phenomenal. These vital funds will help us work together to secure long-term change to tackle loneliness, making lives better for communities and individuals across the UK.”
Tackling a taboo
In October last year the Co-op released research indicating millions of people find it difficult to admit they feel lonely.
Loneliness affects everyone. It can be felt by new mums, retired men, teenagers, the unemployed, the recently retired, those who are well and those who are unwell.
The Co-operative Group chief executive Richard Pennycook said: “Loneliness doesn’t discriminate and it is affecting millions of people throughout the UK on a daily basis.
“I’m delighted that our colleagues, members and customers have responded so positively by raising £1million in just eight months.
“Our campaign goes on and together with the British Red Cross we will develop solutions to help tackle this taboo subject.”
The Co-operative Group will donate 50 pence to the Red Cross for every member that votes at its annual general meeting on 21 May.