Coalition established to help people stay connected during pandemic

The Connection Coalition includes partners such as the Jo Cox Foundation, Mind, Age UK, the British Red Cross, Nesta and Facebook

A coalition between the Jo Cox Foundation, Mind, Age UK, the British Red Cross and other organisations is aiming to help people maintain social connections despite physical isolation.

The Connection Coalition, which also includes the innovation charity Nesta and Facebook, among others, has been formed to help build stronger connections within communities and neighbourhoods despite the coronavirus lockdown.

The coalition plans to bring organisations together to collaborate and share expertise, creativity, tools and ideas for building connection.

In a statement on its website, the group said it hoped to have an impact on the pressures facing communities and charities in the short term during lockdown and coronavirus restrictions, but also in the longer term.

“We are going to be living in a different kind of country after the crisis is over,” the statement said. “We can build a better future for everyone by building strong relationships and connected communities now.”

In practical terms, the coalition said, it would use online tools and innovative technology to help charities and other organisations use their stretched resources as efficiently as possible to strengthen the social connections that protect the most vulnerable.

Catherine Anderson, chief executive of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: “Our nation and communities face intensified social and emotional crises, including loneliness, mental health and bereavement. We believe that meaningful social connection is key to overcoming these challenges.

“Strong reciprocal relationships build solidarity, belonging and the belief that we have more in common than that which divides us.”

The coalition is seeking other members to add their expertise to the group. Interested parties can find more information and sign up at www.connectioncoalition.org.uk.

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