Co-op has launched a recruitment drive across North Cornwall and South West, calling for new member representatives to have a say in the running of the group and its food stores, funeral homes, legal business and insurance arm.
Members’ Council leaders have said that applications from members within under-represented societal groups are particularly welcome this year, including those from younger age groups, ethnic minorities, candidates with disabilities and those from the LGBTQ+ community.
Across the UK, there are 26 vacancies on the Co-op National Members’ Council, which works closely with the Board and senior managers to ensure the voice of more than four million active members is heard throughout the group.
Co-op wants to create a fairer world for everyone and in 2023, the Members’ Council is focusing on cost of living; member value and business performance, and member participation and community as its three priorities.
These areas are intended to highlight both societal and business challenges, as well as where Co-op can have a real difference.
Denise Scott-McDonald, the Members’ Council’s President, is encouraging applications from people who want to help Co-op tackle the big issues that communities are facing.
Scott-McDonald said: “As a co-operative, we welcome applications from all eligible members, and I can’t stress that enough.
“If we want to create a fairer world for everyone, we need to represent as many different voices as possible in our work and our Co-op.
“Right now, there’s so much to address and help out with.
“We know that people are keen to support however they can, and being part of Co-op and the Members’ Council is a fantastic way to get involved and join something bigger.
“We also work closely with Member Nominated Directors and call on the business to take action with motions at our Annual General Meeting, all crucial to engaging with our members and including them in the Co-op they own.”
Council representatives can serve a term between one and three years.
The 100 people that make up the Council come from all walks of life and include ordinary members (people who trade with Co-op’s businesses); colleague members and members from independent co-operative societies.
The Council continues to encourage all members to participate in Co-op governance, while educating, informing and planning how to champion Co-op’s ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’ Vision.
The Council helped develop Co-op’s new partnership with Your Local Pantry – focusing on communities where additional food solutions will make a significant difference to the cost of living – across its regular ‘Join in Live’ events for members.
It also helped shape the Food business’ commercial strategy.
To qualify to stand for election as a Council representative, members need to have joined before January 2020 and have earned 500 membership points (the equivalent of spending around £10 a week on groceries in Co-op Food stores) between January 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022.
Candidates can find information at www.co-operative.coop/get-involved/councilelection and can apply until midday on February 23.
PICTURED: Across the UK, there are 26 vacancies on the Co-op National Members’ Council, which works closely with the Board and senior managers to ensure the voice of more than four million active members is heard throughout the group