Tributes paid to retiring conference founder

One of the founders of InterAct, Pam Walker, has now stepped down from organising the conference.

Ms Walker, first started the conference nine years ago from the education wing of the former Ipswich and Norwich Society, now East of England. She has taken up a role with Rural Action East and delegates paid tribute to her work and achievements.

John Boyle, Member Relations Officer at Midlands Co-operative said: “Pam has been at the forefront of member activities and a leading educator in the 

Co-operative Movement for some ten or more years. 

“I looked to Pam for the drive, energy and enthusiasm needed in the Movement, to me she is one of the leading co-operative missionaries. We need those missionaries and can ill afford to lose them. I do not want to talk about Pam as if we have lost her to the Movement. We have not, as I know she will keep in touch and through her existing work will still, very much I hope, influence the movement.”

Richard Bickle, Secretary of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies, was serving on the Education Committee of Ipswich & Norwich Co-operative Society when Ms Walker was appointed Education Officer. He said: “She brought together our community, member and educational work into a coherent policy framework with the stated objective of creating a culture of co-operation in the communities in which the society trades. Nearly ten years later, hardly a week goes by without me quoting or applying this concept because it clearly demonstrates the contemporary relevance and ongoing importance of the consumer co-operative sector engaging in a wide range of outward facing activities including that broad range of traditional member activities (dancing classes, choirs, gardening clubs etc.) which have been deeply out of fashion in most societies for many years now.    

“For Pam, I have no doubt that in her new role she will be promoting the practical value of ‘co-operation’ in rural communities across the region and in this endeavour I’m sure all her friends and colleagues in the Co-operative Movement wish her well.”

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