Here’s the latest video update. Thanks for everything you’re doing!

Celebrating our #localheroes

By Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO

I want to start my update this week by sharing this wonderful Pride story by James Smuts and Ben Brosnan, who are co-chairs of the Respect Network. June is Pride month, which commemorates the Stonewall riots – the first real demonstrations for gay rights.

Every year, we celebrate our LGBTQ+ colleagues through Pride celebrations across the country, but this year Pride will look slightly different. We may not be able to march and celebrate our colleagues in person, but the team have shared a wonderful toolkit that might give you some inspiration on how you can get involved. The team are also running webinars throughout June too – all the details can be found in James and Ben’s Colleague Story.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, our Local Hero Colleague Magazine was shared this week. This magazine showcases the passion, support and the incredible things you have done over the past three months. It’s a true reflection of how amazing all of you are, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

As always, I’d also like to share some of the incredible things you continue to do week after week. Like Member Pioneers Dorothy Miller and Sandra Dean, who worked with ten Food stores in Doncaster to raise £650 for local key workers.

And Bridgette Perks from Armthorpe Funeralcare, who set up a picnic and had a chat with residents from a local care home who were feeling a bit down from not being able to interact with their families.

You can read about these local hero stories and more here. I love hearing about the amazing work you do, so please continue to share your stories on Yammer and social media using #localHeroes.

Supporting our communities through our Co-op Academies

As some children have now returned to school, I wanted to give a quick update on the work we’ve been doing to support our Academy students and their families throughout the crisis.

Our Co-op Academies stayed open for key workers and vulnerable children and, because we believed that no child should go hungry during the crisis when schools were closed, we stepped-up with food vouchers for those students in our Academies who usually get free school meals.

The Co-op Academies Trust also provided 1,000 devices for students across our 25 schools and colleges who couldn’t access the internet from home, giving them the best possible chance to continue their learning journey.

We recognise that all children, especially those from deprived backgrounds, need to be in school. We can’t allow the youth inequality gap to grow. We’re looking forward to welcoming our students back and are working hard to make sure our Academies are safe when children do return.