Co-operative societies from across the UK have joined the campaign to support the victims of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines last November.
The Co-operative Group is supporting the recovery efforts in the Philippines by donating £50,000 to the Disaster Emergency Committee to help provide basic necessities for those affected by the typhoon.
To help people re-build their homes in the aftermath of the natural disaster, the International Co-operative Alliance formed a recovery fund, inviting its members to make donations. One of the co-operative societies that responded to the ICA’s appeal is the Southern Co-operative, which donated £10,000.
Silena Dominy, society secretary for Southern said that supporting the local community was one of the most important principles that guided the co-op. “Our board of directors felt strongly that the Southern Co-operative should extend its support to the communities devastated by typhoon Haiyan,” she explained. “The focus of the ICA’s recovery fund will be on the recovery of co-operative organisations and on redevelopment efforts that employ the co-operative model in rebuilding local livelihoods and housing for the long term.”
Lincolnshire Co-operative is also backing the ICA’s fundraising campaign, having donated £5,000 to the recovery fund. Malcolm Hoskins, the society’s president, said he hoped the donation and wider recovery fund, would help the people of the Philippines to “look forward and rebuild”.
Another society supporting the victims of the typhoon is Midcounties Co-operative, which managed to raise over £28,000 for the appeal in just three weeks. Encouraged by staff, customers at the society’s 240 food stores contributed loose change when checking-out, which was then donated to the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.
Mark Wilson, group general manager of food retail at Midcounties, said the society was committed to social responsibility, providing as much support as possible to worthy causes, not only at local level, but also overseas. “Raising over £28,000 in only three weeks is a huge achievement and we really appreciate the very generous donations from our customers and the hard work of our colleagues,” he said.
Collection buckets in East of England stores raised more than £17,000 at its last count in the months leading up to Christmas and the new year.
The typhoon has affected over 10 million people, with over 5,632 killed, 18,175 injured, and 850,808 displaced. The National Confederation of Co-operatives of Philippines estimates that over 350,000 co-operative members need support in the aftermath of the typhoon.