Up and running whatever the weather - how community co-operatives provide a vital lifeline Lots of us love it when snow falls; the world suddenly looks so peaceful and beautiful, and then there’s the fun of getting out sledges and throwing snowballs. But for others, the snow brings with it a new dread: that they will not be able to get out to do their shopping, or even see anyone at all. Our #thelittlethings campaign urges people to reach out to people who are suffering with loneliness. Community co-operatives are already doing so much to support people who are isolated, particularly when the snow comes down and icy roads make it difficult to get about. With many bus services being withdrawn in rural areas, community hubs become even more of a lifeline. Home delivery – delivering meals or groceries for the housebound is a brilliant way that many community co-operatives perform a vital role in looking out for those who are isolated in bad weather. Barkers of Huby, for example, which became a community co-operative in 2015, delivers to housebound residents in Huby and Sutton while Ewelme Village Store in Oxfordshire also operates a home-delivery service – particularly important in an area where the local bus service has been withdrawn. A taxi service – At the MayBush Inn, Essex, volunteers will even go and fetch community residents who are struggling to get around into the pub for social events. Looking out for people – Community co-operatives aim to be the beating heart of a community, acting as social wardens as much as selling tins of soup or pints of beer. Many of our organisations tell us that their volunteers notice when regular visitors don’t come in for a few days and will call in on a person’s home to check they’re OK. This is especially invaluable on snowy winter days when someone may be struggling to leave the house with no family around to help. When bad weather hits, we should all be especially careful to look out for the most vulnerable people living around us. Interested in finding out more about community co-operatives and the work they do? Find your nearest co-operative pub and community shop using our interactive maps.