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10,000 members have played a part in co-creating our new Community Plan, guiding how together we support our local communities.

Thank you to Co-op Members who helped shape this vital work by attending one of our 24 Join In Live events, testing our Community Wellbeing Index or joining in online conversations. With members’ help we now have clear priorities:

  • community spaces
  • education and skills
  • mental and physical wellbeing

Members said that community spaces should be our priority, so that’s where we’re starting.

Saving 2,000 community spaces by 2022

We’ve heard from many members about how community spaces are important to them, their families and their local communities. Sadly, we also heard how strapped local authorities are struggling to maintain these spaces, with knock-on consequences for community cohesion, isolation and crime.

That’s why we’re pledging to save, protect or support 2,000 community spaces by 2022. These might be indoor spaces, like community centres, or outdoor spaces like parks. They’ll be spaces that members identify as being vital to the wellbeing of their local communities. We’ll share more on this soon.

Another way we’re supporting local community spaces is by partnering Steel Warriors to create free outdoor community gyms in areas impacted by knife crime. The gym equipment is made using steel from knives that have been taken off the street, melted down and recycled. Together with Steel Warriors, we’ll build 20 new open air free-to-use gyms, complete with gym instructors hosting free fitness classes for all to participate in.

Q4 - Payout - Community Wellbeing Index Banner

I’m genuinely excited by the plans for the next three years that we have co-created with members and I very much look forward to working with you and our growing community of Member Pioneers to make a real difference to UK communities.

Rebecca Birkbeck
Director of Community Engagement and Shared Value

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

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. It is great that the CoOp say they want to look after the communities and share our values. In the beautiful conservation village of Brixworth with its medieval street plan, stunning street views and home to old of the oldest churches north of the Alps, you are trying to help the village by building a carbuncle on a dangerous S bend, with not enough parking spaces, park your huge HGVs on a corner, in front of other local family businesses, unload on to the pavement, have vehicles ruin the grass verges as they do where there are other CoOps, with your shared values!
    Please help our community and save our conservation area from ruin, by not building your new store in our conservation area. It will cost nothing and require minimal effort. The village will even help you find alternative places to develop.

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  2. Thank you for all the support you give to help local and national community. Amazing. I feel that anything to improve our park areas is much appreciated I particularly like the idea of the outdoor gym made from recycled knives.

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  3. The generation that built our parks, libraries etc were so sensible. The political idea that we can’t afford them is so short term and wrong. Our community spaces need people to work to keep them, and it’s great that this is happening.

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  4. I agree and some parks and spaces already have exercise equipment

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  5. Luckily I live in a very low crime rate area, and have free local outdoor gym equipment. However, I think that is an excellent initiative to provide outdoor gym equipment made out of steel from reclaimed knives, this is the first I have heard of this, are there notices by the provided equipment that explain how it has been made and by whom it has been supplied, I think it would be very thought provoking for users of the equipment if information was supplied?

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