In response to the recent call for evidence from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, The Jo Cox Foundation has submitted evidence on behalf of the Connection Coalition, based on the experiences of Coalition members.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration are examining the legacy and lessons of the COVID-19 crisis in relation to social connection and integration, with a particular focus on volunteering and business. MPs are due to consider the role of volunteering during COVID-19 and how this can be sustained in the longer term, as well as looking at how volunteer recruitment and deployment was coordinated during the crisis. They will also examine best practice in the use of volunteering to promote social connection and ask what policy changes would encourage volunteering, including among groups who are less likely to take part.
Over recent months, the Coalition’s cross-sector membership has grown to over 500 members, working on a diverse range of issues including loneliness and social isolation, mental health, grief, disability, arts and culture and intergenerational and health-related issues. In a recent survey of the membership, we gathered insights on learnings, challenges and opportunities that organisations have faced during the pandemic. A vast majority of members work at the grassroots level and have an in-depth understanding of many issues faced by communities and the volunteers working to support them. We’re delighted to be able to share these valuable experiences as part of this submission.