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We’ve heard from our members that joined in to help shape our future community strategy about how integral cooperation is to making things happen in communities.
Over 1,000 members shared with us examples of how people in their communities are co-operating to support others, improve spaces and protect local assets. And 55% of them said that they had rolled up their sleeves to get involved in local events that brought people together to co-operate for the benefit of their community.
These activities spanned everything from litter-picking and organising village fetes to the investment of time and money into co-operatives and community enterprises that were taking on responsibilities for local pubs, theatres and libraries.
Here’s just a tiny glimpse of the many inspiring examples of co-operation already taking place in members’ communities.
“Disability Sheffield – amazing user-led organisation (run by and for disabled people) that gives disabled people a voice, provides inclusive and supportive opportunities for employment, volunteering and training and runs information, advocacy and many other valuable services for disabled people.” Kate Whittaker, Co-op Member, Sheffield
Barriers to getting involved
Other members were kind enough to share with us the reasons that meant that they’d not yet got involved in their communities.
Time was an issue for around one quarter of those who responded, but it wasn’t the biggest. 35% of members said they’d not got involved because they’d never been asked to and 35% said that they were simply not aware of any community activities taking place. A further 21% said they only found out about things after they’d happened.
What this says to me is that awareness and communication are key to getting more people involved, and an area which we should look to explore further as we develop our plans.
This type of engagement with our members helps us to deepen our understanding of how our they view co-operation, the types of activities they get involved with and the things that may prevent some of them from getting involved. We’ve also built a catalogue of wonderful examples of how communities are coming together to achieve great things, which I’m sure will greatly inspire our thinking around future community programmes and what it means to be part of the Co-op in 2019.
If you’re a member who is interested in continuing to work with us to shape our future community programme, head to your member account to see what opportunities are available right now.
Director Community Engagement
Read more on how we’re building stronger communities at our Co-op;
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