Co-op Members have been amongst the first to explore a new tool that we’ve created to measure wellbeing in communities throughout the UK.

The Community Wellbeing index provides a snapshot of how communities score in nine key areas – everything from education and skills to equality, participation and trust. We’ve built it as a resource for communities to use, but it’s also been extremely valuable to Co-op as we set out to develop the next phase of our community programme.

Well being index example

Members were invited to visit the site and enter their postcode to find out how their community shaped up. They then fed back to us their thoughts about the index overall and how they might use it in their communities. The majority of members found the Index easy to understand, felt that it reflected their understanding of the needs of their communities and said that it was something they would share with others who might find it useful. It also gave us some useful pointers about what we should do next.

“It was very interesting to see where there are ‘gaps’ in the community, things that need improving. Where I live it appears to be ‘Voice and participation’ which is lacking whilst others were relatively high.” Elliot Reed, Co-op Member, Nottingham

“Maybe there could be more information on how we can improve scores as a community. It tells us how they are calculated but not what would work as prevention/stabilisation measures. (Also what the government can and should do to support communities).” Mark Mordak, Co-op Member, Gravesend

Take a look at the Community Wellbeing Index to see how your community scores.

Q4 - Payout - Community Wellbeing Index Banner

Emerging community themes

The Index has already helped us to identify three areas where we think Co-op community investment can make a difference;

  • community safety
  • education and skills for young people
  • community spaces

It was good to give these an initial sounding with the 1,500 members who tested the Index, before we start to look at them in greater depth with members early next year.

83% of members said they liked the themes, which is an encouraging start to our planning.

We also asked members to tell us which of the three community themes they thought we should prioritise. Attracting the support of 41% of members, ‘community spaces’ emerged as the most popular, followed by ‘education and skills’ with 31%.

Next steps

I was pleased to hear that many members found the Index to be a valuable tool, It’s also been great to use it to work through what our priorities should be as a business, and I’m looking forward to joining conversations with members throughout early 2019 to delve deeper into the issues of community safety, community spaces and education and skills.

Head to your member account now to join in the conversations.

Co-op Members shape our Co-op by joining in #TheCoopWay

Rebecca Birkbeck
Director Community Engagement

Read more on how we’re building stronger communities at our Co-op;

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Using my post code to search for my local Well being index brought up results on the combination of two adjoining towns, but very different communities. When will this indexing resource be available for smaller community organisations to use?

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  2. more co-op banks and pharmacies needed

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  3. It would be useful to link the information obtained through the index to local community iniatives such as the Community Action Meeting in my local town.

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Co-op local causes, Co-op Local Community Fund, Communities locally in the UK, Join In #TheCoopWay