We’re gathering feedback on our ‘How to’ guides

Posted on 6 December, 2019

This week...

  • ‘How to’ guide – gathering feedback  

  • ‘How to’ guide - iteration of features  

  • 2020 planning  

  • Team day  

  • 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. 

‘How to’ guide – gathering feedback 

We were out at the beautiful Stretford Public Hall testing the live build of the How to guides, alongside two prototypes.  

We spoke to three experienced organisers and one novice with lots of community event ideas.  

We had previously met lots of ‘doers’, organisers who just get stuck in and learn as they go. Last week we met our first ‘planner’, who meticulously planned everything before he got started. My favourite quote from him was “I love Trello!”

We got lots of great feedback:

  • “This is more informative than I expected.” — Beth, Crafty Cooks 

  • “Nicely worded” — Jane, novice organiser 

  • “Everything I’d want to know” — Phil, Stretford Uke 

Some of the things we learned led us to quickly update the live website. Others, we’re excited about tackling next year, things like:

  • How might we cater for different mindsets: Planners v Doers? 

  • How might we use a logged in experience to reward and encourage organsiers to come back? 

We’ve got a couple of updates planned, and then we’ll be sharing the guides and asking for specific feedback and improvements from our Member Pioneers around the country.  

Here's the full write up

‘How to’ guide – iteration of features 

We were able to make some quick and effective changes to content following the research last week. 

We added summary sentences to each sub section to help people understand more of what they were going to find. 

We also: 

  • created a top tips page which had tested well in the prototype stage (and is a better ‘way in’ for our users and less overwhelming 

  • changed the ‘Research your event idea’ section to ‘Before you start’ and the word ‘spaces’ to ‘venues’ so we’re using the words and phrases our users use 

2020 planning  

There’s no resting on our laurels in the Co-operate team. 

The last month or so we’ve working with stakeholders across the business to be clear on our overall strategic outcomes for 2020 to build on the work done this year and shape our ambitions to further build out the platform next year. 

True to out agile ways of working tough prioritisation decisions have to be made to ensure we’re focusing on the value we can add now to communities as well as being pragmatic about what we can achieve with the current size of our team.  

We’re shaping our plans with the team next week and then Natalie and Anne will be able to also share our growth plans with community groups and organisations so they can also understand what we’re doing to help meet their needs and to see the opportunities for collaboration to help us scale over 2020. Exciting times ahead indeed!  

Team day  

As the old saying goes work hard and play hard. The Co-operate team got to enjoy a team building day. We’ve learnt and developed a lot this year and the current team has only been in its most recent formation since early November. 

We like a challenge and so set two teams against the clock to breakout of the same room. Nothing like a healthy bit of competition to test teamworking skills and the art of Co-operation. The good news is we all broke out. 

Where’s Natalie been? 

This week, I have been meeting so many interesting people! 

I started the week with Saeed Saddique who runs monthly events with a group of others from the Muslim community in Sale. His motivations for the events that they run are all about breaking barriers and celebrating the diversity of their community. It was great to hear that the digital way of promoting events was the favoured way in the Muslim community and Saeed felt that “printed literature is a waste of time now a days” however they still create digital posters to share through social media. He particularly liked that What’s happening had the facility to attach a poster as this was an easy way for them to share it. 

The back end of my week then led to me making further connections with Co-operate in the South and East Leeds communities, which is super exciting for me because it’s where I live! 

Firstly, I met with Vicky, who is the County Communications Manager for Central Yorkshire Scouts. She thinks that Lend a hand could really help with finding people who would like to help them run groups! In their newsletter in the new year she is going to advertise Co-operate and promote the use of the tool to find people who can help them with the work that they do! Interestingly she doesn’t think that advertising the groups through What’s happening would benefit them, it would only disappoint the community as many of their groups have huge waiting lists! 

I met with CATCH in Harehills who run one of the largest youth clubs in Leeds, with a membership of over 1000 young people aged 8-17 from a mixture of backgrounds. The charity is run completely by volunteers and young people from the age of 13 are actively encouraged to volunteer in order to enhance their skills. They also have a community café which partner with some of our food stores through our Foodshare initiative. Not only are CATCH going to post events and volunteer opportunities through Co-operate I will be also doing a session in January with the young people to see if they come up with some ideas of  how they would get people together to do some good in their local area. Would be great to get their insight as we have identified that the opportunities that we have for young people of their age range seems to be minimal – it may even spark some of them off with an idea that our How To guide could support... 

I met with Toast Love Coffee who have posted 10 events and 1 Lend a hand opportunity on Co-operate... I met some of the volunteers there who talked me through the concept of the community pay as you feel café and how it is making a huge difference to the community. 

FINALLY, I met with Jeremy Morton who is the Editor of South Leeds Life a local digital and print newspaper that are run by volunteers as a CIC. A huge part of their publication is a ‘what’s on’ guide for the South Leeds area with the aim of encouraging more activity in the local community. Jeremy talked about how difficult it was to maintain accurate information on the what’s on guide, and that it was sometimes difficult to reach some of the newer communities in the area as he doesn’t have the network. It has taken him 9 years to build up the guide, and he admits that it is hard work and is really interested in how we can work together, as we are both working to the same goal. He is going to write an article about our venture in to South Leeds for South Leeds Life to signpost his readers to Co-operate and is keen to add a volunteering opportunity for community journalists!  

That’s it for this week, I’m off to get a well-earned mulled wine  


Posted by Rachael on 6 December, 2019

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