Ways you can help your community

Week notes 10 January 2020

Posted on 10 January, 2020

This week... 

  • Stats over Christmas  

  • Keeping Communities tidy with the Great British Spring Clean 

  • Launched Co-operate Yammer group 

  • A better face for Co-operate – the new Co-operate homepage 

  • Where’s Natalie been? 

Co-operate background  

Stronger communities are at the heart of the Co-op strategy, so we’re going to completely reinvent what commercial, community partnerships should be. 

Being a co-op, we believe that more co-operation will improve our local communities. 

Co-operation is harder than it needs to be, so we're going to make it easier. 

The idea is that we build an initial range of tools or features and learn which ones truly impact a community. These tools need to be as real as we can make them so we can really understand what users do, instead of what they might tell us. 

Find out more on our About page. 

Stat over Christmas  

🎄Understandably, we had a 75% drop in traffic over the Christmas period but interestingly a 19% increase in new visitors as users find us for the first time through new motivations during a seasonal period.  

 📈It’s been a strong start to 2020 as this week we’ve seen a 752% increase in sessions with Yoga being the most popular event (of course). 

 🚀And Leeds has officially overtaken Stretford (our original trial area)! 

Keeping communities tidy with the Great British Spring Clean  

We’re working with the Communities team and Member Participation to deliver a journey for members to take part in the Great British Spring Clean. 

Members will be able to enter a competition via Co-operate to host a litter pick in their local community with a chance to win extra support from Co-op.  

Why Co-operate? Because it’s our vision to connect people and make things happen in local communities. We also have a year of growth ahead of us and this will super charge that as we welcome members into the platform and convert them into Co-operate users. But they’re not just any members. As part of this journey, members will have shown a strong interest in their local community and a desire to start something which is the type of enthused audience we need to build advocacy. 

It also supports the piece of work we’re working on around Franchise kits. We’ve been working with the Wombles, a community group who organise litter picks, so this allows us to test some of the things we’ve learnt.  

This week we: 

  • mapped the journey a member could take through Co-operate reusing the components we already have 

  • started the content design for the campaign page, a bespoke event detail page and competition form 

  • mapped out the service email journey and the necessary content 

  • understood what tech requirements are necessary to make it happen 

Launched Co-operate Yammer group 

We know that 11,000 colleagues are using Yammer. These include influential people in support centre and colleagues in stores and funeral homes. 

We need colleagues to understand more about what we're working on and how they can contribute. 

This week we launched a Co-operate Yammer group to: 

  • raise awareness of Co-operate and our ambitions 

  • get feedback on the stuff we're working on 

  • encourage colleagues to spread the word and be advocates 

  • conduct research with colleagues who are active in their community 


  • share week notes/blog posts 

  • use the polls/surveys tool to ask colleagues questions 

  • use the announcements tool when we've launched something or need some feedback 

  • cross post in the Community and Shared value team channel 

  • have conversations about community, member pioneers, volunteering, spaces and skills 

A better face for Co-operate – the new Co-operate homepage 

Today if you land on you’ll land on a page that has 7 tiles to select from, each one a location we have launched in that has activities, events, and/or volunteering opportunities. 

This is good if you’re looking for an event, activity, or volunteering opportunity in your area (if your area is one we’ve launched in). But there are two main problems with this: 

1. Co-operate is a lot more than just a list of events, activities, and/or volunteering opportunities. 

2. We only support the 7 areas we have launched in. 

So with this in mind we’ve set out to update this page to make it a:

  • more natural home for Co-operate 

  • place you land on and can immediately understand what Co-operate is and everything it does 

We’ve renamed this page “The Community Hub”, at least for now.  

The Community Hub helps locals in an area start their own events, activities, and volunteering opportunities, as well as helping people find and participate in them. Not only will it link to events like the current page, it will also link people to our great ‘How to’ pages and much more in the future like the skills work we’ve just kicked off. 

This page is being designed and built in a way that we can chop and change it quickly. We’ve started with what we have, but in the future the Community Hub should encapsulate a community and feel like home to person who lands on that page. So it needs to be ready to grow into that as we continue our work towards our goal of making Co-operate the place for community. 

Here’s a quick preview of how it’s going. Copy is still in the works: 

Where’s Natalie been? 


This week started off with meeting Dom from Zest, an organisation who offer support and opportunity to people living in disadvantaged areas of East Leeds. They address health inequalities and social isolation through activities which improve mental/ physical health, and social and emotional wellbeing. 

How to guide feedback 

Dom has shared the ‘How to’ guide with the team that start groups and initiatives in East Leeds as their goal is to make them self-sufficient and sustainable by upskilling the community participants. He believes it would be a good resource to aid his team with doing that. He believes ‘franchise kits’ may also be well received in these groups as they could be used with members of the group to develop their skills and create a sustainable project. 

What’s happening feedback  

He also believes that advertising their one-off events on What's happening may help with capturing a wider audience, which in turn may reap benefits for the organisation and community further down the line. He explained how these events such as their International Womens’ Day event is run as a 'loss leader' to then hopefully get people more engaged in their regular groups and activities and start accessing them. 

Feedback opportunity for further organiser insights  

He believes it will be of benefit for me to further understand and gain some feedback on whether Co-operate will be workable for members of his team that would be responsible for adding events, activities and opportunities to the platform. His main worries surround the time it would take to do that and keeping them up to date. Therefore, he has invited to me to one of their team meetings at the end of January to understand more about their concerns and if there are things we can do to alleviate them. 

Trinity network  

I then met with Julie from the Trinity Network, a registered charity dedicated to providing opportunities for friendship, social interaction and providing somewhere safe for older people in the South Leeds community. 

The 2 sites they operate are only 3 miles apart, however the service users at the Belle Isle site are more social users attending events once a week, choosing to attend on their own accord as part of their social life. The service users at Beeston use the service 5 days a week, relying on it for food and social interaction and many are there through referrals from GP’s/ Support Workers. This was interesting as it highlights the diversity of what Co-operate could be used for from someone looking for something to do in their community, to being used as a tool to aid social prescribing. 

Volunteering opportunity  

They currently have a very small number of volunteers that assist them regularly with their service. This puts pressure on the management structure as they find themselves having to do jobs that volunteers could be doing. They currently promote volunteering opportunities through their own website and their Facebook site, which is limiting them. Julie thinks that Co-operate could help with reaching a wider network of potential volunteers and is going to list some specific opportunities on the site. 

Co-op stores 

Julie was also interested in linking in with the physical branches that the Co-op has in the areas they operate to promote the work that they do. But said that she wouldn’t know who to contact. She wanted to know if we had facilities to display community posters and leaflets, and thought it would be great to have that information.   Week

Posted by Rachael on 10 January, 2020