Belper Co-op staff bid to beat loneliness

Belper Co-op and the British Red Cross want to tackle loneliness.
Belper Co-op and the British Red Cross want to tackle loneliness.

Staff at a Belper shop have launched a bid to tackle loneliness.

The Co-op is rolling out a national two- year campaign in partnership with the British Red Cross to make shoppers aware of the taboo subject.

Staff at the Co-operative food store in Whitemoor Lane, together with representatives from the Co-operative Funeralcare and British Red Cross, took part in the official launch of the drive last Wednesday.

They held placards to draw attention to loneliness which, according to research, affects three in ten people.

Stuart Humphris, manager of the store, said: “Loneliness and isolation, which is perhaps the last great social taboo in the UK, does not discriminate.

“It can affect the young and old, the fit and unwell, those living in towns, cities and the countryside and those living in communities just like ours.

“The Co-op is a community retailer and, in partnership with the British Red Cross, we intend not only to raise money but also to highlight the issue of loneliness.”

Chris Bailey, British Red Cross service manager, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Co-op to help tackle such an important issue which touches the lives of many people across Derbyshire communities.”

A Co-operative spokesman said: “As a national organisation that is rooted in local communities, the Co-op – as a community retailer – is ideally placed to help address an issue which requires both national debate and local solutions.”