Saturday is the start of Co-operatives Fortnight (17 June – 1 July), so what better time to celebrate all the reasons why co-ops rock.

The annual event is organised by Co-operatives UK, the network for all the UK’s co-operatives. We might be the biggest, but there are thousands of other co-ops in the UK, with different functions (producer, consumer, worker, purchasing co-ops) spanning every sector – from food and agriculture to healthcare, finance and childcare. All of them are united by the co-operative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

This year the goal of Co-operative Fortnight is to bring people together after a year of ‘discontent and division’. The campaign asks people to get together and co-operate then share their stories of co-operation. It could be anything – volunteering together, setting up a team or club, or doing a litter pick in a park or beach. Whatever people choose to do it’s also a great way to tackle loneliness too.

“The world doesn’t feel in great shape right now and the very idea of the Co-op – an idea that my mum and my gran grew up with in Nottingham – feels dead right and more relevant than ever.” Bafta award winning film-maker Shane Meadows.

The fortnight ends on International Co-op Day, which celebrates co-ops globally and unites behind a shared theme – this year around how co-operation can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Here’s how you can support Co-operative Fortnight: