Nick Crofts, The Co-op Member Council President, shares his thoughts,

“I for one am still feeling the passion and enthusiasm of both colleagues and members following our AGM. The mood at Manchester Central was simply breath-taking. But things don’t stop, so I just thought I’d share what I’ve been up to…

We’re all acutely aware of the important role that colleagues working for our Co-op play in our success and how they meet the needs of members and customers day in and day out. This summer there is a huge engagement exercise taking place with all our 70k colleagues.  It takes the form of an event ‘Back to Being Co-op’ which they’ll be given time to attend as part of their working day.  Getting our colleagues to better understand our difference is vital to our success as a Co-op.  I know this is something that elected members have always had a passion for.

Recently I have ad the opportunity to undertake my own colleague engagement activity, addressing colleagues at two conferences recently…

Food Central Region Conference

Last week I spoke to colleagues in our Food business in our Central division at their Summer Lovin’ conference. This gave me a good opportunity to share with them the role the Council plays in our business and the importance of participating in our democracy.  It was great to have the chance to tell colleagues in person that I am so proud of the turnaround our in Food, that they have achieved and thank them for what they do every day to show our co-op difference. Things feel really good in the business – members and customers can tell.

NACO Conference 

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I hot-footed it from Burnley to my next event. I was invited to address the NACO conference – which is an honour for me as President. NACO, the National Association of Co-operative Officers, is a key partner and supporter of colleagues in our Co-op and with other co-ops around the movement. The good progress we have made since Rescue allowed me to reflect the hard journey we’ve had, from the brink of failure, to the better place we now find ourselves in today. I was able to share how the Council has played its part in that success as guardian of our values and principles, and gone on our own journey to create a co-operative working relationship with our Board and Executive. I also explained the latest think behind our new Co-op Compass, the new agreed framework we have developed to fulfil our role of holding to account.

Looking ahead

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Over the next few weeks we have Co-operatives Congress to look forward to. It’s the annual main event beheld by our friends at Co-ops UK, the trade body for co-operatives. I’m leading a delegation from the Council and I’m delighted that Hazel Blears is coming to represent our Board.

I’m also looking forward to Co-operatives Fortnight, coming up leading to the International Day of Co-operatives on July 2. Our Co-op is joining in with the Big Co-op Clean which is taking place during the fortnight. I’ll be donning gloves and a litter picker to do my bit for our community!”

Nick Crofts

President, Co-op National Members Council

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