By Nick Crofts, Co-op Foundation Chief Executive

The Co-op Foundation is proud to release our 2020 Impact Report today as we reflect on a turbulent 12 months where co-operation proved to be more important than ever.

We’ve made our report as digestible and authentic as possible this year. Instead of a lengthy PDF, we’ve given smartphones to our partners and asked them to tell their stories about life, learning and successes of 2020.

Watch this video to find out what we achieved and learned with our partners. Alternatively, read their stories on our interactive webpage.

Things to be proud of

I joined the Foundation this January and feel very lucky that my first communication to our wonderful Co-op colleagues is to talk about the success my team enjoyed last year, in the most difficult of circumstances.

In 2020 alone, we worked with partners, funders and the Co-op to:

  • Award £1.8m of grants to help young people support their peers
  • Commit to invest £389,000 in interest-free loans and grants to help community spaces become more financially sustainable, and award 16 loan repayment breaks to help existing partners survive lockdown
  • Reach seven million through our Lonely Not Alone campaign hashtags to help reduce the stigma of youth loneliness. This builds on our £6.5m of grants for youth projects UK-wide

2021 and beyond

I’m super excited about my new role as Chief Executive of the Co-op Foundation and the year we have ahead of us. 

We’re committed to using everything we learned in 2020 to build on our post-coronavirus strategy, further embed co-operation into our grant giving and grow our partnerships with other funders. This includes our work with the Co-op funded by Members through the new Community Partnerships Fund. How we collaborate on shared aims and deliver meaningful change to young people will be exciting to watch in 2021.

Follow, me Nick Crofts, and the Co-op Foundation on Twitter to keep up to date with everything happening at our charity.