Retail societies celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight

Independent co-ops take part in a co-operative clean, share their co-op stories online and take the message to local schools

Co-operatives Fortnight 2017 ran from 17 June to 1 July, giving co-ops around the country to chance to promote the movement and its values.

And once again co-operators took part in the Big Co-op Clean, with volunteers from Lincolnshire Co-op setting off to work at sites across the society’s trading area, including efforts at Long Sutton, Grimsby and Wellingore.

Lincolnshire Co-op colleagues and members help clear outside space at Centre4 community hub, Grimsby, for use as a vegetable patch and games garden

Volunteers from Lincolnshire also helped create a space at High Flight Memorial Park in Wellingore.

The space will commemorate the author and Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. who died in the area in 1941. His poem ‘High Flight’ has since become a symbol of the forces.

Volunteers at work at High Flight Memorial Park
Lincolnshire volunteers brave the heatwave for a clean-up at Anderby Beach

The theme of this year’s fortnight was #coopstories, with co-operators urged to share stories of co-operation on social media – and Southern Co-op responded by filming 10 short videos with long-term community partners and local groups, in which they talk about their work and how Southern Co-op has supported them in their venture.

Coinciding with Co-operatives Fortnight, we were also celebrating ten years of supporting local producers through our Local Flavours range and created a Local Flavours VW camper van, which travelled through ten counties in the South giving out free tasters of local produce to encourage people to try and buy local fare. Our Local Flavours range supports the local economy, bringing products to market through working with local producers.

The society also re-ran a session from its AGM earlier in the year, which allowed colleagues at its Lakeside office to discuss the importance of co-operation within the organisation.

And the society held a panel discussion at the Business Express show on Portsmouth’s Express FM on 28 June, where local co-ops had the chance to talk about the co-operative business model, how this is beneficial to the local economy and how their businesses help the local community. 

Midcounties colleagues visit the society’s partner college, Walsall College

Midcounties also celebrated the fortnight, putting its Developing Young People remit to work by running classroom sessions for schools in some of its stores., and by educating students about its business model and  DOES (Democracy, Openness, Equality and Social Responsibility) Values.

And the society’s Green Pioneers were put to work creating and developing activities that benefited their schools and communities.

Midcounties’ Green Pioneers at Bishops Castle
Green Pioneers at Walsall Academy after completing a sustainability visit at Co-operative Energy

At Scotmid, a team from the society’s Tannochside store braved the Scottish summer rain and co-operated with Uddingston Pride to carry out a community tidy-up in the local area.

Scotmid brave the elements with Uddingston Pride for a clean-up

And Scotmid colleagues joined forces with the Greenferry Trust and Cleanferry for a general clean-up litter pick across South Queensferry.

Scotmid joins the South Queensferry clean-up

Graham Philip, manager of #Scotmid’s The Loan store in South Queensferry, and Regional Business Manager Lisa Strafford both rolled up their sleeves and got involved with the team of volunteers from both the Greenferry Trust and Cleanferry.