Numbers numbers numbers. For most big organisations that is all we, its customers, are. In fact I think most customers feel just that; a number. The Cooperative Group has some impressive numbers. 6 millions members, 5000 outlets and founded in 1844 bu its Rochdale founding fathers. This actually tickles me because as a member of Yorkshire Mafia i am fiercely proud of my Yorkshire roots and have an in built dislike of anything from the other side ( of the Pennines that is .) I have in my minds eye a bunch of aged gentleman in smocks rolling the r's and talking about buuks ( books ) and "Luuk here don't tha thinks that its grand idea that we all become members of a group that looks after its members like" At which point they click their heels and tap their clogs. A massive generalisation I know but it works for me. It certainly worked for them because today the Cooperative group boasts a huge number of members and has services such as food, financial services, travel, pharmacy and funerals. I for one use their banking arm and never felt like a number. They are proud of their ethical stance and support of local community groups. In fact so proud they are launching a new TV campaign this week celebrating just that, the impact the co-opters had on the world and urging people to join them in continuing their revolution.
Here are a couple of schemes to inspire to get involved.
A sustainable, co-operative school inspiring young people
The Co-operative’s Green Schools initiative is the most wide-ranging sustainability programme in UK schools. From helping to organize walking buses, to providing visits to green energy sites, and to farms to see how food is grown, they can engage pupils with a broader spectrum of projects than any other UK business.
One school to benefit from this partnership with The Co-operative was Sir Thomas Boughey High School in Staffordshire. It was one of the first Co-operative Business Colleges in the UK and one of 185 schools they have helped to generate their own green electricity.
They helped the kids to get involved by becoming young co-operators, and funded a roof-mounted solar panel system. As a major sponsor, they also support the school, staff, parents and pupils, in all areas of the curriculum. Not bad eh? It's just thing my two would have loved when they were at Primary school, even if it was just the walking bus.
A young dancer with a new goal to pursue
The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers is supported by The Co-operative to offer mentor training to young people. It provides sporting activities in communities where they may not have been available previously, and lets the volunteers explore new possibilities and gain new qualifications.
One such volunteer was Jamie, a teenager from Northumberland, who has used her love of dancing to map out her future career path. After becoming a StreetGames Volunteer, Jamie now teaches urban dance 5 times a week to younger children at her local dance academy – Factory Dance Academy.
Jamie’s expectations have been transformed. Instead of leaving school at 16 as she first intended, Jamie is about to start a BTEC in Dance, Health and Social Care and Business, with the aim of pursuing a career in community dance.
If you want to learn more and how you can get involved then take a look at The Co-operative Group "http://www.facebook.com/TheCooperative?v=info">Facebook pages or have a gander at their "http://www.co-operative.coop/join-the-revolution/get-involved">webpages</a> to see how you can get involved in creating your own Revolution. I think I will see if there is anyway that my son's local Rugby Club can benefit as it seems it all the criteria.