Employee Volunteering have been delivering the Co-op Volunteer Programme for 10 years and this year we are delighted to be involved in setting up a number tea parties across the UK.  As part of their national Charity Partnership campaign to tackle loneliness, teams of Co-op volunteers from across the businesses give their time to support tea parties in a number of local areas.

Recently the Volunteering Matters Employee Volunteering team facilitated the first regional tea party event which took place at The Bridge Centre in Liverpool.  The Centre is intended to break down barriers in the wider community and promote and encourage self-worth and also promote independence regardless of disability and ability. The event coincided with the Great Get Together weekend, set up by the Jo Cox Foundation to re-connect people in local communities.  There are further tea parties planned across the country, including one in Jo Cox’s constituency of Batley.  The aim of the tea parties is to bring people together from all walks of life to tackle loneliness and isolation. “Had an amazing day at our community vintage tea & Jo Cox memory afternoon, feedback was amazing, so much so that the community have asked us to do it once a month.” – Liverpool tea party

Volunteering Matters are also working with Co-op to identify impactful opportunities for individual volunteers to focus on loneliness and isolation too.

Alison Hodges, Community Investment Manager at the Co-operative Group, said “The Co-operative Group in partnership with The Co-operative Foundation have worked with Volunteering Matters for over 5 years to deliver our employee volunteering programme.

“Their ability to provide quality volunteering opportunities across the whole of the UK and their robust health and safety processes have enabled thousands of our employees to make a real difference in their local communities.”