300 words approx. 1.5 minute to read

Today the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced the Building Connections Fund, an £11 million partnership to tackle loneliness and connect communities in England. £2 million of this fund will be delivered by our charity, Co-op Foundation, supporting young people across the country.

The funding and how it will be spent

One of the main recommendations of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, which Co-op supported, was to tackle loneliness across all ages.

Community causes that bring people together will be able to apply for funding from July 2018, with grants available until the end of March 2021.

The Building Connections Fund includes £5 million from the government as well as:

  • £5 million from Big Lottery Fund, matching the government’s investment
  • £1 million from the Co-op Foundation, matching the government’s investment in tackling youth loneliness specifically

Co-op Members voted to tackle loneliness with British Red Cross and together our Co-op Members and colleagues have raised £6.7 million.

We know through our research that loneliness is not the preserve of the elderly, it can affect people at different life stages. More recently, the Co-op Foundation has brought attention to the widespread, but a long-overlooked issue of youth loneliness.

As Chair of the Co-op Group Board, I’ve been a passionate supporter of the Co-op Foundation’s work to empower young people and strengthen communities. Thousands of other Co-op Members have also shown their support for the Foundation’s Belong programme through the Local Community Fund. I’m delighted that the Government has recognised this ground-breaking work, and is now committing additional funding to this important cause.

Read more about how we’re tackling youth loneliness from Head of Co-op Foundation, Jim in his blog post.

Allan Leighton
Chair of Co-op Group Board and Co-op Foundation donor

Read more on Co-op Foundation at our Co-op;

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Re comment above – will this initiative be rolled out by Co-op outside of England. I hope so, it’s a brilliant programme and much needed.

  2. This is good news, however to Allan Leighton or whoever writes his text. The Building Connections Fund from the UK Govt only applies in England, which he forgot to say.
    But recognising this ‘the Foundation is committing to increase our per capita support for youth loneliness projects in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, in direct proportion to our match funding in England’.
    If writing blogs regardless from whom, please be accurate with the info.


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