Co-op of the Year awards 2020: nominations now open

Co-operatives UK has launched the 2020 Co-op of the Year awards with calls for award nominations and judges

The Co-op of the Year awards recognise the people and businesses at the heart of the UK co-op movement.

In 2020, three awards will be presented for co-ops based on turnover, there will be an award for the co-op council of the year and several individual awards will be given to people who have contributed to shaping the co-operative movement.

The winners will be recognised at a gala dinner held in Rochdale Town Hall on Friday 19 June, as part of the Festival of Co-operation. The awards are being hosted in the home of co-operation to celebrate 175 years since the Rochdale Pioneers established the first commercially successful co-operative, and 150 years since Co-operatives UK was founded in 1870, making it a double celebration.

For the first time, the winners will be chosen through a combination of judges scores and a public vote – while several individual Co-operator of the Year Awards will be selected by the judges alone.

“Last year’s Co-operator of the Year Awards were so popular that we’re planning to hand out several individual awards, honouring an inspirational group of people who embody the co-operative values,” said Ed Mayo, secretary general. “It doesn’t matter at what stage you are in your co-operative career, we’re expecting to see a diverse range of awards presented and chosen by our democratic panel of judges.”

In a new move for 2020, the judging panel will include up to six Co-operatives UK members, who are being invited to apply to join the panel.

“The judges will have the power to select the people and co-ops that they feel are deserving of an award from those nominated, which will be combined with a public vote to ultimately choose the winners,” said Mr Mayo.

The Co-op of the Year Awards are sponsored for the second year running by The Co-operative Bank.

“The awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of co-operative organisations across the UK,” said Maria Cearns, Co-operative Bank managing director, current accounts and savings. “We look forward to hearing how organisations and individuals use the power of co-operation to enable their businesses to flourish in a fair and equitable way. I’m really looking forward to seeing who wins in 2020 and celebrating with all the nominees in Rochdale, the home of co-operation.”

The Co-op of the Year Awards are free to enter and open to all Co-operatives UK members.  The closing date to apply to sit on the judging panel is 30 March and the closing date to nominate a co-op, co-op council or individual co-operator is 20 April 2020.

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