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Organisations invited to tender for a contract to increase our understanding of how spaces can tackle loneliness

Thursday 18 July 2019

The Co-op Foundation is inviting organisations to tender for a contract that will boost learning on how community spaces can be maximised, and help tackle loneliness.

Up to £160,000, including VAT, is available for the successful Evaluation and Learning Partner, funded through our £1.6 million partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Space to Connect

The tender is asking organisations to:

  • Bring together existing knowledge on how the potential of underused community spaces can be maximised in innovative ways
  • Work closely with Space to Connect grant-holders to help them tell their stories, and understand and share learning that will shape future work
  • Create iterative summaries of learning across the programme to support, influence and inform projects, and leave a resource for the future
  • Analyse evidence about the overall impact that maximising community spaces has on the fund’s ultimate goal of supporting social connections to reduce loneliness.

Tenders must be submitted by 12pm (noon) on Friday 30 August 2019. The contract is expected to start in October 2019, and run to June 2021.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

“Our Space to Connect Evaluation and Learning partner will play a vital role in building our understanding of how community spaces can support social connections and tackle loneliness. Learning will be shared to leave a resource for the future that will ultimately strengthen communities.”

We launched Space to Connect in June to help communities identify, improve and protect spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available to help organisations expand activities in spaces to make them more sustainable, or explore ways to make better use of spaces to address challenges, like loneliness and access to community activities. 

Funding from government builds on its commitment to unlock the potential of community spaces to build connections as part of its Loneliness Strategy. It also builds on our own support for organisations that are working to make spaces more sustainable. Read more.


Space to Connect was launched at the same time as Co-op’s Endangered Spaces campaign, a partnership with Locality.

Endangered Spaces aims to protect, support and improve 2,000 at-risk community spaces by 2022 with the public asked to highlight spaces that need support online. You can also get involved on Twitter at #SaveOurSpaces

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