By Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value

Last week we showed our ever-growing commitment to supporting communities across the UK with some exciting changes to Co-op Membership. 

This included us doubling the amount we give back to local causes and organisations when our members choose Co-op, at a time when communities need more help than ever.

Now, every time members buy selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes to them, and we’re giving the same to community causes.

We’re splitting the money from members between the:

  • Existing Local Community Fund, so we can carry on supporting thousands of local grassroots community causes
  • New Community Partnerships Fund to create lasting change on the big issues we care about – access to food, mental wellbeing support and education and employment opportunities for young people – in partnership with like-minded organisations

Our members can continue to select which Local Community Fund cause they want to support and donate part of their personal reward to the Community Partnerships Fund, through the Co-op App.

Tackling the big issues with our Community Partnerships Fund

The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that the inequality gap in the UK is growing.

The work we do with our communities has always been to tackle that. But this year made us realise we need to focus our efforts on the issues that have the biggest impact on a community’s wellbeing.

We’re going to continue learning from our unique Community Wellbeing Index to shape the way we help communities co-operate to make things better. But we know we don’t have all the answers and we’re going to need some help along the way.

That’s why we’re using the extra money from members to work with others through the Community Partnerships Fund. We’ll start with:

  • Continuing to improve mental wellbeing with Mind, SAMH and Inspire because the pandemic and months in lockdown have taken a big toll on people’s wellbeing. More than half of UK adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) reporting that their mental health has got worse
  • An exciting new partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation. We’re working with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation (RFF) as part of the Hope 2020 collective to give young people the opportunity to change their lives and the world around them – stay tuned for more on that soon!
  • Support for the Co-op Foundation. To make things better, we need to help our communities come together, which is exactly what we’ll do with the Co-op Foundation. Look out for more news on their youth loneliness campaign, later this week

As always, we’ll keep you and our members updated on the impact all this is having and when we invite new partners with us on our journey to make things a little bit fairer.

And keep an eye out for our latest Join in activity in your member email this week for a chance to let us know about wellbeing in your community, to help shape the work we do next.

Get involved  

It’s now even easier for you to support your community. Through the Co-op App, you can select a local cause, donate some of your reward to the Community Partnerships Fund and explore opportunities to co-operate with others through Co-operate, our community platform.

If you aren’t already a member, make sure you join as a colleague first before downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play, so you get your added colleague discounts and benefits. 

I’ll be in the ‘Membership evolution’ community on Yammer between 2pm – 3pm on Friday 9 October, for anyone who wants to chat about anything I’ve covered here.

Remember to spread the word about the changes to Co-op Membership through Social Hub for the chance to win exclusive prizes!

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. […] Now, every time they buy selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p for every pound spent goes to them and we’re giving the same to community causes. […]

  2. […] this is just the start. Earlier this week I shared that we’re using the extra money from members to support our national charity partners even more through our new Community Partnerships Fund. […]

  3. […] this week, Rebecca Birkbeck shared how the Co-op Foundation is being supported by the new Community Partnerships Fund to help communities come together to improve […]

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