Are you happy to chat? We are! The Phone Co-op and Community Network respond to launch of Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

23 Feb 2017 By Pat Moral


The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness launched last month taking forward the work she started before her tragic death. Bringing together a cross party group of MPs with 13 charities including Royal Voluntary Service, Action for Children, Refugee Action and colleagues at The Co-op, the Commission will be shining a light on different aspects of loneliness and the positive steps we can all take to combat it.

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Jo Cox put it perfectly: 'Young or old, loneliness doesn't discriminate… it is something many of us could easily help with.'

Loneliness can affect people of all ages, from the bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has outlived her friends and immediate family. Tackling loneliness requires us all to contribute. As The Campaign to End Loneliness and now The Jo Cox Foundation are gathering momentum across government, charity and business sectors The Phone Co-op wanted to pledge its support.

Working together The Phone Co-op and UK wide charity Community Network have been tackling loneliness. We are working in partnership specifically using telecoms, enabling lonely people to connect by phone.

Vivian Woodell, Chief Executive of the Phone Co-op added: "Combating loneliness is at the heart of the service that we are delivering in partnership with Community Network".

We combine with them to host their Talking Communities bringing together groups, over the phone, of up to six people and giving them opportunities to socialise and gain telephone friends. If you are involved with one of their groups or are a charity or community group already using our teleconferencing for social purposes, please spread the word. If you want to find out more about how to get started get in contact.

We've now signed up to the Jo Cox Loneliness, Start a Conversation campaign. Loneliness is something that we can all help to combat, one conversation at a time. We've pledged to be 'Happy To Chat'.

Whether on the phone or face to face, let's all join with the Jo Cox Loneliness, Start a Conversation campaign. You can find out how to pledge your support here.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. The Phone Co-op is a telecoms and internet service provider based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire and in Manchester. It is a consumer co-operative, owned by its members, who are its customers. It provides products and services (phone, mobile and broadband as well as business data services) to residential and business customers throughout the UK. It also provides teleconferencing facilities for charities, not for profit organisations and other co-operatives. Driven by its members, it has a strong focus on ethics, both social and environmental. The Phone Co-op has over 30,000 business and residential customers, over 70 employees and more than 11,700 members. It started trading in 1998 and has grown steadily since then and now has a turnover of over £12.5 million. www.thephone.coop
  2. Community Network is a charity and social enterprise using telecoms for social benefit. Based from Archway, North London, it works across the UK to combat social isolation, loneliness and their devastating effects on health. Since 1989 it has been bringing socially isolated people together to build talking communities, telecoms enabled peer support. The groups are hosted by trained volunteers and help people to engage with others, build confidence, increase self-esteem and improve mental health and well-being. Community Network specialise in supporting charities and community groups in setting up and hosting talking communities, getting people together over the telephone. www.communitynetworkprojects.org
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