It’s nearly time for the annual awards for co-operatives in the UK – and nominations are now open.
In 2018, a record 30,000+ public votes were cast, and this year there will be even more chance to get involved, with two additional categories. Organised by Co-operatives UK, four co-ops and two inspiring individuals will be recognised at Co-op Congress on 21 June.
The 2019 awards are for:
- Leading Co-operative of the Year (for co-ops with turnover of more than £30m)
- Inspiring Co-operative of the Year (for co-ops with turnover of between £1m and £30m)
- Breakthrough Co-operative of the Year (for co-ops with turnover of up to £1m)
- Co-operative Council of the Year (sponsored by CCIN)
- Co-operator of the Year (open to anyone affiliated to a Co-operatives UK member)
- Lifetime Achievement Award (for individuals who have made a significant contribution to the movement)
The awards are free to enter and are open to all Co-operatives UK members. This year they are being sponsored by the Co-operative Bank, and co-ops have until 29 April to submit entries.
Following the nominations process, up to five co-operatives or individuals for each category will be shortlisted by a nominations panel, made up of Co‑operatives UK’s chair, secretary general and a senior representative from sponsors The Co-operative Bank and CCIN (for the Co-op Council Award) – then online voting will take place from 6 May to 13 June. The previous year’s winners and shortlisted contenders are not eligible to enter.
“The Co-operative of the Year Awards are one of the highlights of the year, and a real cause for celebration,” said Co-operatives UK secretary general, Ed Mayo.
“I am always inspired by the range of diversity of nominations and the sheer number of public votes, which provide a fantastic platform for the shortlisted co-ops to promote their businesses. This year will be 150 years since the first modern Congress was held in 1869 and we feel that this is the perfect time to honour some of the wonderful co-operators who have helped shape the movement and those who continue to do so.”
The Breakthrough Co‑operative of the Year will have the option to access £1,000 worth of specialist business advice from The Hive, Co-operatives UK’s business support programme run in partnership with The Co-operative Bank.
Andrew Bester, Chief Executive at the Co-operative Bank said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Co-operative of the Year Awards, which complements the commitment we have made to supporting and developing co-ops through The Hive development initiative. The Hive has already provided over 650 groups with training, mentoring and resources over the last two years. I look forward to meeting the award winners at Congress in June.”
- The nomination form can be found on Co-operatives UK’s website; the closing date is 29 April 2019.