Nick Crofts, The Co-op Member Council President, shares his thoughts.
This has been a full-on quarter for the Co-op which ended fittingly with the launch of our research report into the triggers for loneliness. I was privileged to present how we’re going to help tackle this important issue as an organisation.
I was also delighted to represent our Co-op at the International Summit of Co-operativesin Quebec – the world’s leading event for business development in the co-operative and mutual community. Delegates were made up of decision-makers and leaders from co-ops and mutual enterprises of all size and in all sectors. The focus was on current and future economic and financial issues. The clear message from the sessions I attended was that co-operatives are one answer to the major socioeconomic issues of our times. One clear call out is the digital revolution taking place in retail and wholesale co-ops – this provided me with the reassurance that our Co-op is doing the right thing developing our digital approach.
I will also be hosting the Business Council for Co-operatives and Mutuals of Australia
when they pay a visit to the home of co-operation in the week ahead of Christmas
November Council Meeting
This was a two-day affair with a packed agenda.Richard Pennycook joined us to outline how the Council will be involved in planning our strategy for Renewal. I feel this is where the Council can really come to the fore in guiding the business at such a vital time.
Rod Bulmer and Mark Summerfield updated us on the progress of the new Insurance platform and outlined plans on how insurance will be championing changes to practices that penalise consumers in the marketplace – true co-operation in action.
An update was also provided on the development of the community framework and how the growth in Member Pioneers will build engagement both in physical locations and online.
Building co-operation with co-ops in the UK
Allan Leighton, Chair of Co-op Group and I had the honour of jointly hosting a gathering of chief executives and presidents from societies across the UK. To me, it’s fantastic when our movement comes together and we help each other, share ideas and develop our understanding of each other’s societies – it’s what co-operation is about.
Wilmslow store opening
It was a pleasure to be at the opening of the newly refurbished Water Lanestore in Wilmslow in November which was attended by soccer legend Mike Summerbee who I signed up as a member. Welcome to the Co-op Mike!
Tackling loneliness – ‘Trapped in a bubble’ report launch
This month we published the research we commissioned with our campaign partners, British Red Cross, into the triggers for loneliness. At the launch event the findings of the report were presented to an audience of 180 people drawn from the voluntary, private sectors along with representatives from government agencies. At the event I set out the Co-op’s business response to the report which you can read here. This has firmly planted us on the campaigning trail and the phenomenal media response shows our members chose well when they selected this cause for us to champion.