You’ve now been fundraising for a year, and in that time have raised £4 million for our Charity Partnership to tackle loneliness, which is incredible. We’ll still be fundraising until March 2017, but this week we took the next important step in our Partnership with the British Red Cross, as we launched our research report into loneliness.
The research we launched yesterday, reveals the scale of the challenge, the impacts on people, and also how we need to respond to the issue. It brings together insights from 100 pieces of existing research, 45 experts, 100 people who have experienced loneliness, and over 2,500 members of the public.
The research showed that the main risk factor for loneliness was around life changes – like when people retire, become parents, or experience a bereavement. The good news is that we can now focus efforts around supporting people during these life transitions.
The report really demonstrates just how complex loneliness is, and how it can’t be solved in one or two years by one organisation alone. This is why we’re committed to long-term, sustainable solutions.Here are some of the things we’ll be doing to tackle loneliness:
Funding new British Red Cross services
Thanks to the money you have helped raise, we will fund new British Red Cross services in 39 locations across the UK, to help reconnect 12,500 people experiencing loneliness. You can find out more at coop.co.uk/loneliness
Responding through our businesses
As well as funding the British Red Cross services, the Co-op will also respond directly to the challenge of loneliness. Here are some of the things we’ll do:
- Our Funeralcare business will expand their ‘clubs for the bereaved’, which will provide thousands of people across the country with care and social support at a difficult time in their lives
- Our Insurance business, in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch, will work together to refresh and expand the network, to help strengthen communities and bring neighbours together
- We’ll support our colleagues who may be experiencing loneliness, by improving our employee assistance programme and pre-retirement support
- Our Membership proposition will support thousands of community groups, helping to build strong community connections that could be the link to reconnection for many individuals
Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this point. All the fundraising, planning and research means we can now reconnect thousands of people back to their communities.