By Ed Powell, Co-operative Partnership Manager

What a great start to Co-operative Fortnight as we’ve officially been named Leading Co-op of the Year – you can read more here.

Co-operatives Fortnight began today (24 June) and runs through to 7 July.

Every year hundreds of co‑ops and organisations across the UK work together to promote the movement and celebrate what makes us different during Co‑op Fortnight.

We’re different from other businesses because our Co-op is owned by individual members and other co-ops, not big investors, so our members get a chance to have a say in how we’re run.

This year, Co-op Fortnight is focused on two weeks of mass co‑operation to show what can be achieved when we work together.

To join in all you have to do is carry out an ‘act of co‑operation’ – this can be anything from  a community clean up to organising donations to a food bank, you can find some ideas here. Then film or photograph it for social media using #CoopFortnight and nominate or tag someone, to do the same. Please get involved and help showcase the difference co-operation can make.

As we all know, when we buy own-brand products and services from Co-op and use our membership card, we support local causes through our Local Community Fund.

There are some great examples of people working together in a co-operative way. Bev Place, one of our Member Pioneers recently ran a Big Clean in her area and a huge 120 people got involved on the day. Read all about this here for some inspiration, you can also have a look at this video:

And just by shopping and trading at Co-op, we’re also helping other co-operatives build stronger communities across the UK and internationally.

Over the fortnight there are a few simple things you can do too, to help us celebrate all things co-operative:

  • Pledge to carry out an act of co-operation
  • Share your stories of co-operation and what makes you proud to work for a co-op on social media or Yammer (if you have access)
  • Join the Co-op credit union – which has been giving our Co-op colleagues an ethical and trusted way to save and borrow for 20 years

As part of #CoopFortnight, we want to give colleagues the opportunity to find out a little bit more about the co-op movement in the UK, so we’re hosting a webinar on Thursday 4 July at 6pm at https://www.facebook.com/groups/coopukcommunities/

Here’s to a great fortnight of co-operation!