Ways you can help your community

Week notes 6 April 2020

Posted on 6 April, 2020

This week... 

  • Updated our vision 

  • New service launched 

  • Online events

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. 

Find out more on our About page. 

Updated our vision 

Before the current crisis we spent a little time defining what we mean when we say that our vision is to create: 

‘The one place to go to make things happen in local communities’    So we broke it out as follows:   

For people that care about their community 

Who want to join forces to get things done  

Co-operate is a national community centre for co-operation  

That connects people in and across communities with one another to make things happen 

Unlike a physical community centre restricted by geography and funding, or a community digital platform distracted by monetisation  

Our product is created with communities, for communities, and is owned by communities 

This seems more pertinent than ever right now. 

New service launched  

As we mentioned last week, we’re busy working on a service to help communities find what support is available to them and how community groups need their help. Our first version of this went live at 3pm 1st April (we thought we’d better wait until the afternoon given the date).

We’ve been asking our members to share whether they need support (non-urgent) or whether they can offer support. We will initially match them to national and local schemes and send them an email back with the contact details. We’re gathering these details from local authorities, our Member Pioneers and our Local Causes. We’ll also be sharing details of the Co-op's emerging scheme to support vulnerable people.    So far we've emailed 158,000 members and had:    176 people need help collecting food, medication or need a friendly chat

1451 people want to help collect food, medication or offer a friendly chat

Most people want to learn how to improving their mental wellbeing, how to get fit and cook.

Most people want to teach how to improve others mental wellbeing, how to home school, or how to get people online

We’ll be telling many more people about this new service over the next few days and will evolve it as we learn more about how we can connect communities to support each other during the crisis.     Well done to the team for creating this service in a matter of days!  

Online events update 

We’re inviting people across the UK to add their online community events and activities to Co-operate. However, the website was built for a handful of trial locations, listing physical events: 

We’re now getting events that benefit local communities anywhere, but also activities that are created for local communities that we’re not physically in yet. 

So, we’ve adjusted the site so that when you click on ‘Find an online event or activity’ you get this page instead: 

So far we have 49 activities a lot more as we promote Co-operate in the coming days.    That’s it for this week, a slightly simpler notes set of notes that don’t really do justice to all the hard work the Co-operate and Communities team have put into making all this happen, and all from our own homes.    We’ll be making plenty of noise in the next few days so look out for us.

Stay safe.


Posted by Ben on 6 April, 2020