Co-operatives Fortnight 2017
June 2, 2017 – 9:17 am | No Comment

Running from 17th June to 1st July Co-operatives Fortnight 2017 hopes to once again promote that co-operating makes a big difference and that it is time to remind the rest of the UK. For this year’s Co-operatives Fortnight, people are being asked to share their stories of co-operation, these will subsequently be shared on social media.

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Co-operatives Fortnight 2017

Submitted by on June 2, 2017 – 9:17 amNo Comment

Co-operatives Fortnight is a chance to remind ourselves of the power of co-operation, when co-ops of all shapes and sizes come together to show what can be achieved when individuals combine with a common goal to help; with the only pay back being the feeling and knowledge you have helped. This is the biggest pay back for us.

Running from 17th June to 1st July Co-operatives Fortnight 2017 hopes to once again promote that co-operating makes a big difference and that it is time to remind the rest of the UK. For this year’s Co-operatives Fortnight, people are being asked to share their stories of co-operation, these will subsequently be shared on social media.

The fortnight began in 2010 organised by Co-operatives UK, a membership organisation representing many of the UK’s co-operatives. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, with the ‘Big Coop Cleans’ being introduced in 2015. It returned in 2016 where 1,220 people took part, 93 big coop cleans took place, 897 bin bags of rubbish were collected and 768,000 sq. m were covered, this equates to 154 football pitches.

From volunteering a few hours to help out a neighbour to tackling major problems like climate change, co-operation is vital. We achieve so much more when we work together. Co-ops are aspiring to inspire people to think differently.

The first documented consumer co-operative was founded in 1769 in a barely furnished cottage in Fenwick, East Ayrshire. Local weavers manhandled a sack of oatmeal into John Walkers whitewashed front room and began selling the contents at a discount, forming the Fenwick Weavers’ Society. It was not until 1844 when the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers created the Rochdale Principles that the basis for the development and growth of the modern co-operative movement was born.

Fast forward 173 years and there are 7,000 independent co-ops in the UK and 160,000 co-operative enterprises in Europe, employing 5.4 million people. Suma is proud to be the largest equal paying co-operative amongst these and so happy to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.

The Rochdale principles are voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation; autonomous and independent; education and training; co-operation amongst co-operatives and concern for the community.

Co-operatives for the people by the people, democracy in action bringing work equality for all. A model to be believed in and which can be used outside of the business remit to cultivate trust, loyalty and mutual commitment.

Co-operatives Fortnight is a chance to remind ourselves of the power of co-operation. This is the thread tying the Rochdale principles together and one we should all develop.

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