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In 2015, Co-op Members voted to tackle loneliness. After fundraising over £6.7 million and identifying some of the main triggers of loneliness and some of the most isolated people, together with British Red Cross we recruited Community Connectors throughout the UK, to support lonely and isolated people.

To date, 3000 people experiencing loneliness have been supported through the Community Connectors services.

#TacklingLoneliness in Blyth

I joined the Community Connector programme last year which covers almost 40 locations across the UK.

I see my role at a Community Connector as connecting the dots in the community – bringing together all different agencies to help people who are lonely and isolated.

People come to me with various problems. They could have mental health problems, it could be they’ve lost all of their friends – their peers have died and they’re literally in the house on their own and forgot how to socialise.

You find out what drives them or what did drive them, and then reintroduce them to that, by helping them with volunteers to take small steps.

Once they realise no-one is going to make them do things they don’t want to do, and it’s going to work at their pace to help them success, you find that they open up. It’s just wonderful to see people’s lives changing.

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Michael Rickwood
British Red Cross, Community Connector

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#TacklingLoneliness with British Red Cross, Campaigning