26 October 2016
Today marks one year since the partnership between the British Red Cross and Co-op got fully underway to help tackle loneliness and social isolation in the UK.
Co-op research released this time last year found that two thirds of people would be uncomfortable confiding in a friend or family member that they feel lonely.
The Red Cross has seen the impact it can have on people’s lives while delivering over 200 local independent living schemes around the UK.
We’ve been making strides towards offering services to help tackle these issues by raising the money needed to offer these, as well as further research to build our understanding.
Heroes of fundraising
Over the last year, Co-op’s 70,000 plus staff and five million members across the UK have been busy raising funds to support the partnership. So far, £3 million has been raised towards an initial £3.5 million target.
Recent highlights include the nationwide campaign Whatever the Weather back in August where more than 1,820 Co-op Food stores across the UK raised over £350,000.
There was also an Apprentice-style challenge with teams of Co-op staff taking over the running of three Red Cross stores. They raised almost £12,000.
And in Lancashire, a 70-year-old Co-op employee raised nearly £500 by celebrating her milestone birthday with a series of ‘firsts’ – including a sponsored tattoo.
Alongside fundraising, we’ve also been addressing gaps in the understanding of loneliness and social isolation.
We have carried out a review of existing studies and towards the end of the year will be able to share the results of a detailed piece of research. This has been carried out with around 30 health and social care experts and over 100 people who have experienced loneliness.
The findings from our research will inform how we respond to these serious issues and Co-op’s hard-earned fundraising cash will be put to good use. We will be announcing details around this later on this year.
In the meantime, why not donate to the partnership to help tackle loneliness?