This year’s Co-operatives Fortnight will see co-ops join forces to clean their communities.
The Big Co-op Clean, organised by Co-operatives UK, is calling on co-operatives to make a pledge to help rejuvenate their local area in line with the seventh co-operative principle, concern for the community. All clean-ups will take place during the Fortnight from 20 June until 4 July.
Launched in 2010, Co-operatives Fortnight is an opportunity for co-ops to promote their ethics and values. Last year saw hundreds of thousands of people learn why co-operatives are local, loved and trusted through a wide variety of activities, from community events to national press coverage.
The Big Co-op Clean was proposed and agreed by a group of Co-operatives Fortnight sponsors, worker and community co-ops and credit unions as the action for 2015. Those taking part include the Co-operative Group, Midcounties, Central England, Scotmid, Southern, East of England, Heart of England, Lincolnshire and Chelmsford Star.
Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said: “The idea is simple but powerful. We’re asking every co-operative to do just one thing for Co-operatives Fortnight, to take part in the Big Co-op Clean.
“We’re hoping co-operatives across the country will be organising community clean-ups with their members, customers and employees – whatever works best for them. It could be cleaning up local parks, river banks and streets. It could be helping older people clean their houses. It could even be as easy as encouraging people to clean out their excess food and donate it to food banks.
“Not only will the Big Co-op Clean make a difference to local people, but it introduces people to co-operation, showing them that by working together we can achieve more than we can alone.”
How you can join in the Big Co-op Clean
There are countless ways to take part, from activities you can do alone to those that require hundreds of people. Here are four ideas to get you started…
1. Clean with a neighbour. Why not ask an elderly neighbour if they would like a hand tidying the garden or cleaning the house during Co-operatives Fortnight?
2. Clean out your wardrobe, or cupboard. Rather than letting unused clothes and food sit there, ask your members to clear them out and donate them to charity or a food bank.
3. Clean your street. Why not ask your staff to spend an hour cleaning up the street outside their co-op? Or, ask your members to tidy up their own street?
4. Clean your park, beach, or canal. Bring together your members and staff with a clean-up of a local open space.
More details are available at the Co-operatives Fortnight website: www.uk.coop/fortnight