Daniel with his community connector Michael

The Community Connector programme we set up with British Red Cross to support people affected by loneliness, has helped an incredible 3,000 people. And we plan to help many more.

You helped make this happen. Since 2015, when Co-op members voted for us to tackle loneliness in our award-winning charity partnership with British Red Cross, you’ve helped raise an amazing £6.7m.

Thank you so much for all your hard work fundraising and raising awareness. Everyone should feel proud about the difference we’re making to thousands of people.

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest challenges. Being lonely is reported as being worse for our health than obesity. Your efforts now mean people can be supported in around 40 locations across the UK.

Community Connectors like Michael provide life-changing support, putting people back in touch with others in their community and helping them rediscover their interests.

The stories of those we’ve supported have been both heartbreaking and humbling.

Daniel, a young person from Northumberland, is a great example. He was lonely and suffered from severe anxiety after being bullied at school. He was referred to Community Connectors, and has now started volunteering at a local falconry centre. This has helped him grow in confidence.

Watch this video to hear more from Daniel.

NOTE: we know this video can’t be watched in store – but you can watch it from your own device, anytime, by searching for ‘British Red Cross’ on YouTube.

What else we’re doing to tackle loneliness

Our campaigning played a part in the appointment of a government minister with responsibility for loneliness. We’re also working to secure a government strategy for loneliness to help hundreds of thousands of people.

We continue to tackle the issue through Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation which works with partners across the UK to tackle youth loneliness.   

Remember, you can support Co-op Foundation’s ‘Belong’ programme by choosing them as your local cause.

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive Co-op
Mike Adamson, Chief Executive British Red Cross

Help if you’re struggling with loneliness

As a colleague, if you want to find out about the support available, contact LifeWorks free and confidentially on 0800 069 8854. Lines are open 24/7.

If anyone you know is experiencing loneliness, let them know about the British Red Cross services to tackle loneliness.