As part of its long term charity partnership with the British Red Cross (BRC), the Co-operative Group is undertaking a major piece of needs-assessment research exploring what BRC services could be extended or newly provided to combat loneliness and isolation in the UK.
The partnership has raised over £2m since its launch a year ago, and the findings of this research will be used to inform how the money will be spent to further the cause of the partnership. The partnership has set a target to raise £3.5m by January 2017.
To enhance its research, the Group is looking into how loneliness impacts its members and non-members though in-depth qualitative research, including interviews with 2,000 members of the public.
“As part of our research, we’ve spoken to experts and those experiencing loneliness but we’d also like to hear from Co-op members on how loneliness affects people in their communities,” said a spokesperson from the Co-op Group.
“It’s a real opportunity to shape our response and make a difference.”
The survey can be completed online until 5 August, and the results of the research will be made public in the autumn.
Loneliness is “a feeling or mood that occurs when there is a gap between the social relationships an individual would like and those they have,” reads the introduction to the survey, before addressing questions around perceptions of the problem of loneliness and who is affected most by issues of isolation.
It also asks how much of a role different types of organisation have to play in helping to reduce loneliness, and who respondents would feel comfortable approaching should they experience loneliness and were looking for support.