By Kevin Duffy, Local Giving Development and Delivery Advisor and Member Pioneer

Last week was amazing! Thousands of colleagues across Food and Funeralcare, and Member Pioneers including me, came together with local community causes across the country to celebrate the incredible work they do in their areas, every day, in a truly Co-op way.

The Big Co-op Payout celebrates the huge £17.3m that members raised for local causes through the latest round of our Local Community Fund, and we certainly celebrated!

So many colleagues in our stores and funeral homes got involved, and really put The Big Co-op Payout on the map – we were the top trending retailer on Twitter over the weekend in the UK thanks to all of you and our causes sharing stories using #MakingADifference.

Check out Yammer and Twitter to see what’s been going on across the country, there’s some great examples of our colleagues working together to celebrate the deserving local causes.

I was really lucky to go on tour for The Big Co-op Payout and travelled around visiting causes in Birmingham, Coventry and Liverpool with a really great group of colleagues. In my role I regularly speak to colleagues about the fund, but I can’t describe how brilliant it was to be there and see first hand the local cause reactions when they realised just how much money had been raised for them by our members. We had laughter to happy tears, it really has been a high point of my career being able to do this.

I visited Liverpool Women’s Hospital to hand over a cheque for £2,799.56. This was quite poignant for me as the doctors and nurses here have looked after my family extremely well over the last few years.

I’m so proud to work for our Co-op, being part of a business that truly values communities is amazing and we really went the extra mile this year to shine a light on the local community causes that do so much for their communities.

Thanks to everyone who used social media to spark conversations about The Big Co-op Payout, you’ve helped us to really amplify why our Co-op is different.

Some news hot off the press is that since we’ve emailed Members to let them know all about how much we’ve given to local causes this year, we’ve seen tens of thousands more members select a cause from the new round. If you haven’t done already, make your choice here.