Group’s commitment to women’s voices

The Co-operative Group's Manchester head office

An initiative designed to empower women working in the co-op movement is going from strength to strength The Aspire network was launched in 2012 as a result of a pilot consultation in Manchester to find out if there was a need for a women’s career network to empower more female employees in the Co-operative Group. […]


Swansea’s Chinese community finds support through co-operation

The Chinese Community Co-op Centre organises trips for members and hold events grow Chinese/Welsh relations in Swansea

Swansea’s Chinese community makes up just 1% of the population, creating language barriers and social isolation. The city’s Chinese Community Co-op Centre has been tackling these problems for the past 18 years, looking after more than 600 members in Wales. Run by a board of five directors, the centre was set up in December 1996 […]


Could co-ops be the solution for a first class post office?

Leicester Carriage Builders, part of the Central England Co-operative, converted 40 vans into mobile ‘walk-in’ post offices serving 250 remote locations a week

In 1660, Charles II established the Post Office as the official means of communication between the Crown and the state. The last three decades have arguably seen more changes than the previous three centuries. With the advent of the internet and e-mail, the Post Office has had to move with the times as PCs, laptops […]


Good news for media co-ops

The Bristol Cable launched in 2013, following public consultations and workshops

How reader-led co-operatives are fulfilling the need for high-quality local news The internet may have transformed lives for the better, but it has been bad news for traditional print media. Regional newspapers are currently disappearing at a rate of more than 30 a year, with over 250 titles closing in the last eight years. Circulations […]


Thinktank forecasting from the New Weather Institute

The New Weather Institute: Lindsay Mackie, David Boyle, Andrew Simms and Sarah Burns

A co-operatively run thinktank is drafting an ambitious blueprint for a better society. The New Weather Institute launched in November last year, set up by four colleagues. Economist David Boyle, described by Co-operatives UK General Secretary Ed Mayo as “the finest radical voice of this generation”, is the author of a host of books about history, social […]


Britain’s only foster care co-op turns 15

The Foster Care Co-operative has grown steadily and now has contracts with 59 local authorities

The only co-operative in the UK offering homes to vulnerable children has just celebrated its 15th anniversary. In October 1999, Laurie Gregory set up the Foster Care Co-operative after over 30 years working with local authorities as a senior social worker. He took early retirement and saw the opportunity to offer an alternative to private […]


25 years of championing consumer ethics

Ethical Consumer has won global respect for its pioneering work

Ethical Consumer has a worldwide reputation for making global businesses more sustainable through consumer pressure. Its ground breaking magazine was officially launched in 1989 and the associated website tracks the social and environmental operations of 40,000 companies behind the brands we buy every day – ranking their track record on everything from human rights to […]


The co-operative putting ethics into lobbying

The Public Affairs Co-op team includes Paula Paterson, Emma Beeby, David Lee, Ben McLeish and Neil Cuthbert

Scotland’s first worker co-operative that offers an ethical approach to lobbying has been launched in Edinburgh. Public Affairs Co-operative is aiming to offer value-led communication strategies to organisations keen to reach the right audiences in government, parliament, media and local communities. Its client portfolio will be carefully chosen and profits shared among staff and chosen good […]


How village shop co-ops are engaging their members

The Village Shop in Feckenham, run by local volunteers, opened in 2009

The village shop is a cornerstone of rural communities – but they are closing at the rate of 400 a year. Thankfully, the co-op movement is filling the gap, in the form of the village-owned store. There are now more than 300  in operation, compared to 27 just 20 years ago – but how do […]


East Anglian Brewers Co-operative

Beer enthusiasts appreciate the provenance of buying beer from the farm which has produced the barley used to brew it

East Anglian Brewers Co-operative has spent 12 years building up a reputation among discerning drinkers for its artisan ales.   Founded in 2002, the co-operative was helped by start-up funding from a range of bodies including the East of England Development Agency and government organisations such as DEFRA. It now offers real ale drinkers a wide choice […]