Our work with Co-op to tackle loneliness and isolation

The Co-op and the British Red Cross are working together to tackle loneliness and social isolation in the UK.

In a joint report published in 2016, the partnership revealed:

  • over nine million people in the UK say they’re often or always lonely
  • loneliness affects all ages, not just older people
  • life changes such as retirement, loss of mobility, divorce or bereavement are key triggers for loneliness.

The report also highlighted the serious impacts of loneliness and social isolation. 

Those affected can suffer poor health, stress and thoughts of self-harm and suicide. This can be devastating for the individual and puts extra pressure on public services.

Connecting Communities

To address this problem we’ve launched Connecting Communities.

Funded by the Co-op, this programme puts people affected by loneliness and social isolation in contact with a member of their local British Red Cross team. 

We help people to rediscover their interests and make new friends. Our support helps them to feel more confident and independent.

Connecting Communities is available in 39 locations across the UK. Our staff and volunteers are on hand to help vulnerable people enjoy a brighter, better-connected future.

Raising awareness

The British Red Cross and the Co-op are also working together to lead the new Loneliness Action Group.

This group takes forward the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. 

The late MP Jo Cox said she wanted to “turbo-charge” our response to loneliness, and the Loneliness Action Group will play a key role in making her vision a reality.

This Loneliness Action Group is a platform for charities, businesses and other organisations to come together. We develop ideas and take action to tackle loneliness in our communities.

Our partnership is also working with the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness.

Politicians from all sides regularly meet to ensure that loneliness and ways to overcome it remain part of the political agenda. 

The British Red Cross and the Co-op provide key support for this group.


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