Since the Co-op launched its Local Community Fund in 2016, groups in the Chorlton area have benefited from significant funding to help projects - worth thousands of pounds each year.
The fund pays 1% of what local Co-op members spend in store on Co-op brand products over one year. The money is shared between three local community projects. Local members can chose which of the three they want to receive the money from their spend.
Doing it differently in Chorlton
After the application window closes on 29 May, the three projects in each area will be chosen from the eligible applications in that area.
In Chorlton we choose which applications we want to support by holding an on-line member vote. We're the only area in the country where this happens.
For Round 7 we chose The Edge, Reach Out to the Community and Emmeline's Pantry.
How to apply
For Round 8, as with Round 7, the Co-op is looking in particular for projects that help people access food, improve mental well-being or provide opportunities for young people.
After months of discussions about a possible sale to a consortium of the Chorlton Community Land Trust and a sympathetic developer, the Co-op suddenly performed an about turn and told Chorlton Community Land Trust that it has agreed to sell the Funeralcare site to Southway Housing Trust instead.
Which leaves us asking: "what about the carefully drawn up plans, and the hundreds of thousands of pounds pledged by members of the community to help buy the site?" "Take it up with Southway" came the reply.
We don't know what this will actually mean - will Southway keep the building? What opportunities will we have as a community to shape the development?
One thing we do know is that the Co-op belongs to us, its members.
At our meeting on Saturday 14 May, we agreed that the Co-op should be making sure that the community gets a say in what happens at the heart of Chorlton, rather than just washing its hands.
We'll continue to press that point.
Co-op AGM and voting
The Co-op is holding its AGM on Saturday 21 May here in Manchester. It is also holding elections to the board of directors and the national members council. Full details are available here.
Nearly all members can attend - in person or on line - and vote. You need to have spent a minimum amount with the Co-op to qualify.
You need to cast your vote - on line here - by 12.00 noon Monday 16 May. You will need a code which you should have been sent either by email (just click on the link in the email) or in the post.
If you attend the AGM in person you can vote for motions on the day. But you still need to cast your vote on line for the elections by the 16th .
There are 3 vacancies for the north west constituency on the national members council, with 16 candidates here.
Four formal and advisory - eg to accept the annual report
Four formal and binding - concerning appointments to the board and appointing the auditors
One joint board/council motion on political donations
Three motions from the members council concerning member participation, inequality and climate change
The AGM is the democratic process that allows ordinary members of the Co-op to hold the top managers to account. We are the owners of this huge business, and this is our chance to make our voice heard on matters like, for example, the duty of care the Co-op owes our community in its sale of the Funeralcare building.