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Meet members of local co-operatives

Meet the co-ops

Co-operatives up and down the country are coming together in two weeks of unity during national Co-op Fortnight (24 June to 7 July). Local co-ops in Hastings and St Leonards – Trinity Wholefoods, Energise Sussex Coast, Walden Pond and Wave – are joining a nationwide drive to bring people and communities together by holding a drop-in afternoon. Felix Lozano writes.

Co-operatives are businesses that are owned and controlled by their members, together contributing £36bn a year to the UK economy and spanning all sectors from high street retailers to community-owned pubs, fan-owned football clubs to farmer-controlled businesses.

During the Co-op Fortnight, co-operatives nationwide will be carrying out ‘acts of co-operation’ such as community clean-ups or collecting donations for food banks, and encouraging members of the public to join in and share the power of co-operation on social media.

As part of these activities, Wave will be hosting a drop-in, on Friday 28 June from 2pm to 4pm at Rock House, 49 – 51 Cambridge Road, Hastings.

Comments from local co-ops 

“Everyone is paid equally and we share the responsibility of running a sustainable and ethical business” says Karen, Wave design co-operative.

“All decisions – about repairs, maintenance, rent levels, insurance, buying property and so on – are made by the tenants themselves, as a group, by consensus,” says Emily, Walden Pond housing co-operative.

“Being a co-op means our customers can buy shares and become equal members,” says Anton, Energise Sussex Coast.

“We strive to be ethical, not just in the products we sell but also to our workers,” says Dan, Trinity Wholefoods co-operative.

Hastings Online Times is also now a co-operative, having recently changed our management structure.

Co-op Fortnight

Co-op Fortnight is organised by Co-operatives UK – the national trade body for the co-op sector – and it is sponsored by some of the UK’s largest co-operatives. Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK said: “Co-ops around the world share the same strong values and principles, and all year round they have a positive impact on the communities in which they are based. We’re coming together during Co-op Fortnight to show everyone why co-operation is what the world really needs right now and we’d love it if the public joined in, creating a chain reaction of positive stories as they tag friends and family. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, a simple act of teamwork can lift the spirits and help to heal some of the divisions caused by Brexit.”

For more information about the drop-in afternoon, please contact Felix@wave.coop.

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Our local co-ops

Wave 

Wave is a graphic design agency with strong ethical values, working in both print and digital media. Set up as a co-operative in 1987 to provide creative communication design to charities, public sector and education-based organisations, co-operatives, social enterprises and ethical businesses – a broad spectrum of clients who want to make the world a better place.
www.wave.coop

Energise Sussex Coast

Energise Sussex Coast is a community benefit co-operative set up to accelerate the transition to a low carbon future through the development of community owned renewable energy generation projects and energy efficiency schemes.
www.energisesussexcoast.co.uk

Walden Pond

Walden Pond is a small, radical housing co-op that has owned property in St Leonards since 2001. We don’t have paid staff or managers. All decisions – about repairs, maintenance, rent levels, insurance, buying property and so on – are made by the tenants/members themselves, as a group, by consensus.
waldenpond@btinternet.com

Trinity Wholefoods

Trinity Wholefoods is a workers co-operative established in 1984. We strive to be ethical, not just in the products we sell but also to our workers. We support as many co-operatives as possible through our business, as the decisions we make, affect not only future co-operative members, but also the future of co-ops.
trinitywholesfoods@phonecoop.coop

Co-operatives UK

Co-operatives UK is the network for Britain’s thousands of co-operatives, working to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses across the economy.

Co‑op Fortnight

Co‑op Fortnight is organised by Co‑operatives UK, sponsored by some of the UK’s largest co‑operatives and brought to life by co‑ops across the UK. Sponsors include Central England Co-operative, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, The Co-op, East of England Co-op, The Midcounties Co-operative, Scotmid Co-operative and Southern Co-op.

Posted 04:11 Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 In: Grassroots

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