Making a huge contribution
Co-op Members have been donating the rewards they’ve earned, as part of their membership, to those who need it most right now. We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s taken part so far — you’ve helped raise more than £400,000 to support some of the people most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. You can still help. Donations are open until 31 August. To donate your member rewards now, go to membership.coop.co.uk/donate
Little acts of co-operation
Whether it was a Co-op Member doing a little bit of good in their community, or one of our producers going above and beyond to continue delivering the goods, there were plenty of acts of co-operation during the pandemic that demonstrated selflessness and kindness. Know more untold stories? Tag us @coopuk using #ItsWhatWeDo.
Co-op Member Pioneer
The virtual publican
Keen to keep his local community in good spirits during the pandemic, Warrington store manager and Co-op Member Pioneer David Appleton set up his own virtual pub on Facebook. With a lockdown replacing a lock-in, around 300 people in the area became ‘regulars’, and would join the video calls every week for a little light relief. He says: ‘I set it up as a way of keeping the community together, as well as connecting people and giving others a platform to perform to a live audience during lockdown.’ From live music and DJs to card games (pictured) and quizzes, David became the host with the most. Guests could also use the group to ask for support and raise money for various causes. Thank you, David.
With most schools closed for the summer, colleagues at our Co-op Academies in Walkden, Manchester and Bebington used their time to make PPE for local hospitals and care homes. As well as donating goggles not being used for the usual chemistry experiments in their classrooms, the team — including Hannah Quinn (pictured left), Rachael Quinlan (right), Michael Montgomery, Alison Stannard, Richard Simpson, Keith March and Richard Fletcher — made masks using laser cutters and 3D printers. The result? Over 1,000 pieces of PPE. Many thanks to all of you.
‘An excellent contribution reflecting that our academies really are at the centre of their communities’ Chris Tomlinson,
CEO, Co-op Academies Trust
To support vulnerable families during the Covid crisis, The Community Box Programme — one of Co-op’s local causes in southwest London — teamed up with other charities in the area. Up to 35,000 meal equivalents were delivered every week to those in need, with boxes of healthy food to help them cook nutritious meals. There are plans to expand the operation, too, and build out the boxes to contain even more, from activities for entertaining the kids to essential community support information. Thanks to all involved.
The wine supplier
The pandemic presented challenges for South American winemaker La Riojana, which produces our award-winning Fairtrade Malbec. Lockdown caused the demand in Argentina to dry up, increasing reliance on orders from countries like the UK. Despite problems sourcing glass and shipping containers, the winery still met all the orders placed. Co-op wine buyer, Edward Robinson, says: ‘Our customers continue to show huge loyalty to our Fairtrade wine range. The recent upturn in orders has gone a long way towards keeping producers such as La Riojana in business.’ Thank you for choosing Fairtrade.
The friendly voice
Mitchell Brookes, store manager at our Shoreheath Road branch in Moira, Leicestershire, went the extra mile during lockdown. As well as offering practical services like shopping, he encouraged vulnerable customers to call for a chat if they wanted to. He spoke to around 100 people, mostly in his own time. From giving customers confidence around food supplies to simply cheering them up, Mitchell’s phone calls provided much-needed positivity during seriously tough times. He says: ‘It’s about making a difference in the heart of our communities, helping to show what Co-op is all about.’ Cheers, Mitchell.
The food provider
Producers nationwide were massively affected by Covid-19, and our Birmingham-based produce supplier of 27 years MWW (Minor, Weir & Willis, pictured) was no exception. But despite the circumstances, it continued to deliver. Steve Swain, an MWW company director, says: ‘The last few months have been incredibly testing for our nation, but our relationship with Co-op has enabled us to work together to ensure that the demands of our customers are fulfilled. The efforts on both sides make me incredibly proud to be part of a team dedicated to keeping the country fed.’ We couldn’t do it without you, MWW, so thanks.
The British producers
When everything stopped in lockdown, our producers and suppliers didn’t. People like cattle farmers Maggie and David Kelly (right) continued to work tirelessly to keep our communities fed, so we’d like to say a massive thank you. We’ve also shown our support by investing £2.5 billion into British sourcing over the last three years.
We’ve trawled the Co-op Instagram feed to find the most inspiring pictures you’ve tagged us in over the last few months. From small acts of kindness to spectacular displays of community spirit, these snaps really capture the best of Britain, and fill the page with colour and cheer! Keep up the good work and continue to tag us @coopuk using #ItsWhatWeDo.
1 vegan_food_uk 2 upsndownsnorthampton 3 followingrainbows
4 tara_graves23 5 theharrogategirl 6 stokevillagecommunity 7 lnkcharity 8 smiler2000
As part of our ongoing commitment to making good things happen in communities, we’ve launched a new website: Co-operate. Triggered by the coronavirus crisis, its purpose is twofold: to help get support to those who need it, and to enable people to offer their support to others. With so much information out there, the website cuts through the noise to bring useful services, invaluable resources and helpful content together in one place, pooling assets and putting people in touch. With users able to share stories, it’s as inspiring as it is informative, so log on today.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to look after your mental health. We’re aiming to raise £6 million for our charity partners, Mind, SAMH and Inspire, to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing. Read more at coop.co.uk/charitypartnership
The BIG ISSUE
This summer, Co-op started stocking The Big Issue — sold by some of the UK’s most vulnerable people to lift themselves out of poverty. With vendors unable to sell the magazine on the high street, because of the pandemic, we stepped in to help the award-winning publication continue its work long after lockdown, with 2,600 stores offering the mag — and vendors still getting 50% of the retail price. Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue have been sold by more than 100,000 people in the UK. Look out for our dedicated dispensers instore and pick up your copy today. bigissue.com
THE HOT LIST
From sweet treats to perfect picnic eats, here are all the latest must-buys to hit a Co-op near you. Summer has never looked or tasted so good…
1 LET THEM EAT CAKE Almost too pretty to slice! Co-op Irresistible Raspberry & Passion Fruit Cake
2 SNACK ATTACK Dried peach and pear will satisfy a sweet tooth. Co-op South African Fruit Mix, 60g
3 TEATIME TREAT Pop the kettle on immediately! Co-op Rhubarb & Custard Mini Shortbread Bites, 8 pack
4 DRINK UP Our bottle will help you cut down on plastic. Co-op Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
5 ICE, ICE BABY Channel your inner kid with these old-school treats. Co-op Bubblegum Lollies, 6 pack
6 TOTALLY NUTS Roasted cashews in an eco-friendly pack — what’s not to love? Co-op BBQ Cashew Nuts, 40g
7 FREEZER PLEASER Pass us a spoon! Co-op Irresistible Hazelnut Praline & Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream, 500ml
8 TAKEAWAY TRIBUTE Branch out from salt ‘n’ vinegar. Co-op Irresistible Sizzling Spiced Chicken Kebab Crisps, 150g
BUILD A BURGER
Is this the best burger ever? We think so! Take Co-op 100% British Beef Burgers, 2 pack*, then layer smoked streaky bacon rashers on one of the burgers, plus your favourite cheese and caramelised red onions. Add salad leaves, juicy tomato and tangy pickles, and top it all with burger sauce. The final flourish? A Co-op Irresistible Brioche Burger Bun, 4 pack, of course! Easy.
* Hereford beef in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Aberdeen Angus beef in Scotland
SHARE YOUR BEST BURGER
Everyone’s got their own weird and wonderful way, so share your creations with us @coopuk using #ItsWhatWeDo.