Peer mentoring and training available for energy co-ops

Co-operatives UK member the Renewable Energy Co-operative (R-ECO)

Co-operatives UK has launched a free scheme designed to drive new and existing community energy groups forward. Community Energy Mentoring enables community energy groups to benefit from support from experienced and trained mentors. The mentors will provide up to six days help in navigating the often complex financial, regulatory and organisational hurdles faced by ventures […]


Co-operative Group reform proposals receive member approval

Delegates vote for reform at the Co-operative Group special general meeting on 30 August

Elected representatives of the Co-operative Group have voted for governance reform. In a 90-minute debate at a special general meeting in the Group’s Manchester head office, delegates from seven regional boards and independent society members discussed the future structure of the society. This follows over 100 days of consultation since the SGM in May that agreed a […]


Dispensed: The Co-operative Pharmacy’s rich and caring history

Chatham co-op society, Branch pharmacy

The Co-operative Pharmacy has a rich history of serving members in various different forms for over 100 years – but within the next few months the Co-operative Group’s division is expected to be in private hands following a sale to Bestways to reduce its deficit. Early beginnings As early as 1906, co-operative retail stores were […]


Pushing out co-op stories through a strategic media partnership

The first collaboration by GRITtv and TESA illustrated the diversity of attendees at the Jackson Rising conference. Video still courtesy GRITtv.

Co-ops are all the rage these days. Positive media coverage of co-operative organising is on an upswing. But that’s not good enough for Laura Flanders and Bryan Van Slyke. Laura Flanders’ GRITtv and the Toolbox for Education and Social Action – a worker co-op whose members include Bryan – are teaming up to create a series […]


A member’s view: We need to control the nominations committee


As the special general meeting to decide the Co-operative Group’s future approaches, the need for reform is clear; but are the current proposals for reform the only practical option? I am writing this because, as a member of the Group, I believe the proposals need a crucial change. The change needed applies to the proposed […]


Credit unions reach 100 million members in the US

Credit union members in the USA sent their selfies to be uploaded on the main page of

Credit unions in the US have reached a milestone membership figure with 100 million members nationwide, according to figures released by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). This represents an increase of 2.9% from the previous 12 month. Over the past year credit unions have received 2.85m members, the largest reported increase in over 25 […]


Transfer of council-owned woodland ‘an opportunity for co-ops’

Hedge laying stakes, produced by Blackbark LLP at woodland owned by Calderdale Council

The transfer of local authority woodlands will provide new opportunities for social enterprises, including co-operatives, says the Woodland Social Enterprise Network. The network says there are around 100 woods run by communities and social enterprises in the UK, and the number is growing. Mike Perry of the Plunkett Foundation, which provides its secretariat, says: “Some […]


Co-operating to bring local woods back into production

Calderdale woodland

A new partnership is combining forestry and co-operation to bring woodlands in West Yorkshire back into economic production. Forest Culture, which comprises forester Matt Taylor and community and co-operative business development practitioner Mark Simmonds, has been set up to create management plans for woods throughout Calderdale. The partnership is seeking funding for a programme which […]


Common ownership leads to brand new woodland

Events including a summer ceilidh and camp are bringing the community on to the site

A new Derbyshire co-operative is creating a community woodland from scratch. Whistlewood Common, set up by Melbourne Area Transition, took ownership of 10 acres of Melbourne Common – a field boasting just one tree – last October. It has already planted thousands of trees, and it plans another big plant this winter. The co-op, an […]