Back in 2015 our members voted for us to tackle loneliness in our partnership with British Red Cross, and since then we’ve achieved some pretty amazing things.

We raised £6.7m, smashing our target of £3.5m, meaning British Red Cross could set up services in 38 locations around the country, and to date they have helped around 5,000 people who are lonely to reconnect with their community.

When we kicked off the partnership four years ago, our research found that 9 million people in the UK are always or often lonely and that anyone of any age could be affected. We’ve come a long way since then, and the work we’ve done is making a big difference to lots of people’s lives.

Connecting Communities

Sue and Wayne both lost loved ones, leaving them feeling extremely isolated and lonely. The Community Connector programme we set up with British Red Cross helped Sue get back to herself, while Wayne attended bereavement support groups with our partner, Cruse:

Frank was raised in an orphanage from the age of three, and being alone for the majority of his young life had a massive effect on his self-confidence. A serious injury has left Frank partially blind, he now barely leave the house and can go days without talking to other people. British Red Cross arranged for Frank to have Christmas lunch with a friendly local family, who made him feel really welcome and involved:

Hazel started to feel lonely when she moved to a new community with her husband. She didn’t know anyone in the area and struggled to make new friends. After her daughter was born she started volunteering for the Connecting Communities service where she met Wendy, an elderly resident in the area who accessed the service. Soon enough both of their lives had changed for the better:

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.

Naomi Hayes
Programmes and Partnership Manager

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. This is what the Co-op is about. Proud. But sadly seems quite a way to go if we’re talking 5000 out of 9 mill.

    • Hi Naz,
      As well as directly supporting thousands of people experiencing loneliness through our Community Connector services, we have also been undertaking advocacy work to compliment this. As a result, we now have both a Government strategy on tackling loneliness and a Loneliness Minister. This means that thousands, if not millions more people experiencing loneliness will benefit, as the Government commits to long-lasting action to tackling loneliness.

  2. This really touched me. As a new mum, I found myself becoming lonelier and lonelier during my time off on maternity leave. I wouldn’t have anyone to speak to from the moment I woke up until the moment my boyfriend came home from work. I was starting to feel extremely isolated.
    It’s good to see that Co-op aren’t just focusing on elderly people who experience loneliness as it can affect anyone, no matter what age.
    Well done Co-op.

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