On Tuesday, I had a fantastic day in Leeds meeting Funeralcare and Food colleagues, academy students, Co-op Member Pioneers and some of our local community causes. I even had chance to fit in an interview with the Yorkshire Post.
I visited the Hyde Park Picture House, which is based in the city centre and is one of the causes we’re supporting through the 4th round of our Local Community Fund. I was there to introduce a special 175th birthday edition screening of the film The Rochdale Pioneers.
We invited other community causes from the local area who we’ve supported through the Local Community Fund. These included Caring For Life – a charity that provides housing and support for vulnerable people in the area, and The Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods – which is an important haven for wildlife amidst the bustle of the city.
Plus we welcomed 52 year seven students from the Co-operative Academy Leeds, alongside their Principal, Jonny Mitchell (you might know him from hit TV show Educating Yorkshire). It was great to share some of the Co-op story with them on the big screen.
Hyde Park Picture House is a tiny, quaint cinema. The type of community space that is understated but well-loved, and exactly the type of community space we’re working to save through our Endangered Spaces campaign. Their values chime so well with ours including offering screenings for people living with dementia and their carers. Thanks to our local community fund, the team at Hyde Park House will be able to run dementia-friendly screenings for another 18 months!
I had a brilliant day seeing all parts of our Co-op family coming together to celebrate the local community and what we can achieve when we work together.
I even came away with a little bit of history – balance sheets dating back to the 1800s from one of the local societies in Leeds. It’s one for the Co-op archive, thanks to Phil Loftus, Operations Trainer, for finding this treasure of our past!