Approx 412 words. 2 mins to read.

Co-op has been on a mission to do good in communities for over 175 years, and the need for community spirit is stronger now than ever. That’s why, earlier this year we launched Co-operate – an online platform that enables people to receive, or offer, support. Think of it as an online community centre that’s open to everyone!

Co-operate was created with communities, for communities. It’s there for everything from helping people to get basic supplies such as food and other essentials, right through to providing online classes and activities.

On  Co-operate , you can get or offer support during Coronavirus; see how you can stay healthy and entertained at home; attend an online activity or learn how to host your own online activity; and read inspiring stories about people coming together in their communities. 

Giles and Jo Boddington, who run the Bodster Equine Assisted Learning Centre in the Isle of Wight, offer therapeutic virtual classes through Co-operate, where people can connect with the Centre’s ponies as a way to promote mindfulness and experiential learning.

Since adding their virtual sessions to Co-operate, Giles and Jo have seen their ponies lead online spelling lessons for school children, virtually visit UK care homes via tablets, and connect with people up and down the country.

Co-operate has connected us with people who could never have benefitted from our one-to-one sessions before. It’s taken lockdown for us to realise we can bring people here virtually.

Giles Boddington, Bodster Equine Assisted Learning Centre

Manchester-based dancer Rajeev Gupta, meanwhile, has a whole new audience after Co-op helped him promote his virtual Bhangracise class to new attendees.

Lockdown forced Rajeev to suspend his sessions in Stretford for the first time in 10 years. Before the pandemic, he would usually have around 20 people attending each class, but now he regularly sees his videos attract hundreds of viewers.

The number of people joining me as I dance in my living room has grown and grown and grown. People from all around the UK are now doing bhangra, which makes me so happy! It’s all free and it’s great to feel I’m helping people who might be stuck at home.

Rajeev Gupta, Bhangracise class

As well as offering an exciting opportunity to learn a new skill, the impact the classes are having in supporting health and wellbeing while in lockdown is equally as rewarding.

To find out more, and to attend or host your own online activity, visit co-operate.coop.co.uk.

Ben Rieveley
Product Manager, Co-operate

Read more on how we’re supporting communities;

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Hi Yvonne, that sounds quite strange. Are you logging in the correct website? https://coop.uk/314jFV0 The other option I can suggest is for you to clear the cache and the cookies, in most cases that solves the ‘forbidden’ page error. Thanks, ^Giulia

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  2. I used to shop at the co-op but suddenly when I try to do an online order -all I get are black pages called
    ‘forbidden’

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  3. Hi Joy, that’s very kind of you. I would suggest contacting your local store. I’m sure it would not be a problem providing you could produce some sort of identification. ^ SO

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  4. I wanted to volunteer whilst I’m working from home but the online form says I need passport or driving licence and I have neither. What can I do?

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  5. Interesting to note that Giles Boddington was also a co-founder of one of the UK’s longest running and most successful worker co-operatives, GreenCity Wholefoods in Glasgow.

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#TheCoopWay, Communities locally in the UK, Food, Local causes, Member pioneer