Community News: Co-op IT Analyst reaches new heights for charity

July 08, 2016

A member of the Co-op Legal Services IT team has raised £320 for the British Red Cross, after climbing Ben Nevis as part of a fundraising campaign to combat loneliness and social isolation.

Akwasi Atuah, who lives in Salford, was a complete novice when he undertook the challenge, having on ever completed smaller walks through the wilds of the Peak District as training, just six weeks prior to the main event. However, Akwasi was determined to do something challenging to help tackle loneliness and social isolation throughout the UK.

His efforts form part of a wider effort by the Co-op to raise money and awareness for the British Red Cross, which has so far achieved over £2million since the Co-op first partnered with the charity in 2015.

Research by the Co-op indicates millions of people find it difficult to admit they feel lonely, and the partnership will enable thousands of vulnerable people to be reached. These findings build on the experiences of British Red Cross staff and volunteers already delivering over 200 local independent living schemes giving practical and emotional support to vulnerable people across the UK.

Akwasi commented: “It’s the Co-op ethos to help our local communities, and I feel so proud to be able to contribute to our charity partner. I may be new to hill climbing, but I was keen to take on the challenge and raise funds for a worthwhile cause. Whenever I felt tired or needed to stop, I thought of the suffering that others have to endure, how my efforts could help them, and that spurred me on.”

Kerry Threadgill, Senior Community Fundraiser for the British Red Cross, said: “Fundraising activities like these are essential for the British Red Cross, as they help us to reach more people throughout the UK who are in need. Loneliness is an increasingly complex issue that impacts upon people's wellbeing and health, affecting millions of people in our society. 

“Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, and Akwasi has made such a terrific effort to raise money for our cause. It will certainly go towards some very deserving people across the UK.”


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Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact:
Caroline Canty: caroline.canty@co-operative.coop / 0161 767 6477
Emily Dalton: emily.dalton@co-operative.coop / 0161 767 4323

About the Co-op:
The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 colleagues and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.

About Co-op Legal Services:
Co-op Legal Services (CLS) was established in 2006 and in 2012 it became the first major consumer brand to be granted alternative business structure (ABS) status under the new Legal Services Act.
Co-op Legal Services is an integral part of the Co-op’s Consumer Services Division which includes General Insurance and Funeralcare. CLS seeks to offer fixed and transparent pricing to its customers, meaning that the customer is aware of what the costs involved will be and therefore able to manage costs more effectively.
CLS offers a range of products and services including Wills, Probate, Family Law, Personal Injury, Employment Law and Conveyancing.

About the partnership:
The Co-op and British Red Cross have launched an exciting and innovative partnership to highlight and tackle loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.
Loneliness is a massive, increasing but yet under-recognised crisis, adversely impacting the lives of millions in our society - shortening lives and eroding health and wellbeing.
The Co-op and British Red Cross are working together to create solutions for this seminal problem of our time and so that the voices of people experiencing loneliness are heard - campaigning for change and touching individual lives by providing vital care and support for thousands of people experiencing loneliness, helping them reconnect with their communities.
We are undertaking research that will inform the services funded by the money raised by Co-op colleagues, members and customers and the ways in which we respond through our joint campaign.