If you followed this year’s AGM, you might have heard that we re-launched the Co-op Foundation, our own charity. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength – with a new team, and ambitious plans to help disadvantaged communities work together to make things better.

foundationAt the moment its main focus is tackling youth loneliness, building on the work we’re already doing with the British Red Cross.

Here’s what the Foundation has done so far:

  • Trained 12 young researchers to investigate how loneliness affects young people
  • Given £139,500 to five pilot projects exploring a range of approaches to tackling youth loneliness
  • Committed another £120,000 to six new projects that help disadvantaged young people with loneliness during times of transition (such as leaving care)
  • Supported these projects to work together as a network that will have national and local impacts
  • Launched the #iwill fund – a £2million pot to help young people tackle loneliness in their communities, bringing more local projects into the national network
  • Supported 358 colleagues to volunteer in their communities

You can find out more about the charities it’s supported, and its future plans in the mid-year progress report

Get involved

If you’d like to raise funds for the Foundation’s work on youth loneliness, email foundation@coop.co.uk

If you’d like to volunteer, email volunteer@coop.co.uk

Follow the Foundation on Twitter – @Coop_Foundation

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. What are the major issues that cause youth loneliness?

    • I’m pleased you’re interested in this Pete, and hope you’ll take a look at our research when it comes out. The issues it’s been highlighting as causes of youth loneliness are wide ranging, here are just a few examples:
      – moving around the country for work or study
      – social pressures, from how young people interact online to just ‘being different’ (e.g. disability, LGBT)
      – economic factors like precarious work in the gig economy

      We are still learning so much about this subject, but (as the statistic in the article shows) we are certainly seeing that loneliness is as much an issue for young people as for other age groups.

  2. I think the irony here is that to my mind one of the main reasons for apparent loneliness it the use of social media rather than social meeting – “Follow us on twitter”

    • Hi David, this is just a way to connect with the Foundation itself, but the work they do is face to face in communities. Also social media has a big role to play in tackling loneliness for some – people with mobility issues, social anxiety, or whose family and friends live far away or overseas. I agree, it isn’t a replacement for human connection though.

    • The role of social media (and technology in general) is huge in young people’s lives. This is a major theme our young researchers are exploring. Although there are some genuine problems with social media, it’s interesting how young people are also using technology to beat loneliness – like 2 girls who arrived in a school both speaking no English, and made friends with each other using Google Translate on their phones.

      We’ll be able to share lots more findings from the research soon – including (but not only) on Twitter!

      Jim (Head of Co-op Foundation)

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