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We’ve been thinking that when you bring together the experience and knowledge of over 4 million members you can do some pretty amazing things. So we thought we’d put the idea to the test to see if amazing things could be done by connecting members who need some help or advice, with those who can provide it.

We teamed up with our Co-op Young Members’ Board (CYMB) to help further explore a question it had been busy looking at – can we make young people’s lives better through Co-op Membership?

The CYMB had done work to identify the big changes that happen to young people in their lives. This highlighted that 16-19 year olds experience a huge amount of change, but that support available to them at this time was sometimes lacking. We went out to more young people and asked them about the help they might be looking for.

Together, we alighted on the idea of creating a Life Skills Bootcamp for 16-19 year olds, for which we would crowdsource content from members.

Members and Colleagues shared their knowledge, advice, and words of encouragement with our recruits, with many posting replies on social media to the question ‘What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?’.

In October half term, everything came together over 3 jam-packed days in Manchester. Here’s a glimpse…

The session was a huge success – here are just a few of the comments from the young members who attended Bootcamp:

“My experience with the Co-op was exceptional. They were well organised and very polite, treating us as young adults. I think the whole program they put together was well thought out and beneficial for me, helping me write a CV and learning how to find confidence in myself, teaching me to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses and how to work on them.” Zahra

“I came thinking I knew what I wanted to do and left with a complete different mind set. This helped me to do a job I thought was impossible to get to but has helped me to bridge the gap” Tanisha

“I am more confident in allowing myself to meet and build a relationship with new people.” Christiana

What’s Next?

We’ve learned a great deal from delivering the Bootcamp. It was a fantastic example of members and colleagues coming together to co-create something that adds real value to the lives of other members.

We’re going to take what we’ve learned and in 2018 further explore how we can encourage members to share their experience with other members in this way on a range of topics.

Add a comment below to let me know the topics that would be of interest to you. If you’d like to join in click here to see a full list of the opportunities available now

Terry Mcleod
Member Voice and Participation Engagement Officer

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Thanks very much, Patricia! ^SB

  2. Sounds a wonderful scheme offering so much help to young people at a crucial time in their lives. I have two teenage granddaughters who live in the South West and think they would find this very beneficial if it were to be available in the South of England. Well done Co-Op!

  3. I lake very much chopped CAOP
    Lovely people

  4. A great initiative, I was delighted to be a part of it.

    • It really did make all the difference having real Co-op members supporting these young people as they take their next steps in life. Thanks for being there, Mary!

  5. What a great initiative! Keen to contribute if you will roll it out in the North East.


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