By Michael Fletcher, Co-op Retail Chief Commercial Officer and new Trustee of the Co-op Foundation

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve officially joined the Board of Trustees for our charity, the Co-op Foundation.

The Co-op Foundation is a truly fantastic charity that’s helped communities UK-wide over the past few years. From awarding £6.5m of grants to organisations tackling youth loneliness, to investing in more than 200 local spaces – like Beechbrae, and supporting programmes that tackle racial inequality in tech. It has a track record of pioneering grant making that embodies and amplifies the best of our co-operative values. 

I look forward to helping build on this success over the coming years. Read about the Foundation’s recent highlights in its latest Impact Report

A career in food

My entire career has been spent in food retail. I’ve done everything from running stores to managing national UK brands in places as far flung as Malaysia. I came to Co-op in 2013 because we do things differently.  

I find the Co-op economic model fascinating and believe it to be a better way of doing business if we want all communities to thrive rather than a lucky few. At Co-op, for every £1 members spend on selected own brand products and services, 2p will go into their membership account – and we’ll give the same amount to support community organisations and local causes. I’m incredibly proud to work here. 

Our charity

The Co-op does more than most to support communities, but there are some partnerships we just can’t build. This is where our Foundation offers amazing value and where it can help us achieve our vision of ‘co-operating for a fairer world’. 

Together, we can build on its already incredible work, develop relationships inside and outside the Co-op and achieve even more for communities. 

I’m incredibly proud to be joining our Foundation at such an exciting time in its history. Chief Executive, Nick Crofts, and his team are developing a new strategy inspired by learning from before and during coronavirus. They’ll be aligning even more closely with the Co-op and working hard to amplify co-operation as a way to strengthen communities. 

My first Board meeting is next month and I’m already looking forward to meeting my fellow Trustees, including Co-op colleagues Saleem Chowdhery and Lois McClure.

Keep updated with how you can support the Foundation by subscribing to its blog. I’m proud to be a part of our charity, I hope you’ll follow our story too. The whole of Co-op will always be greater than the sum of its parts. 

You can also follow the Foundation on Twitter.