Here's an update from Chorlton and District Co-ops - organised by and for local co-ops and co-op members.
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 30 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.
How to apply
For Round 7 the Co-op is looking in particular for projects that help people access food, improve people’s mental well-being or provide opportunities for young people.
To apply your group or project needs to sign up on the Co-op's Co-operate platform. This is worth doing anyway because it's a good place to promote local community work and projects.
You have until 30 May to apply, but we advise you not to leave it any later than the 28th.
You can find full information on the fund and make your application here.
We hold regular meetings - every couple of months - for people interested in co-operation in Chorlton. Since the pandemic we've been holding them on Zoom - which has gone really well. Aside from anything else it's a chance to chat about what's going on. But we usually find something we think is worth working on. And it's never more than an hour!
Our next meeting is next Saturday:
How to join - please register - or you can just visit here on the day
On the agenda:
We wrote a letter to the Co-op about the Picture House (Funeralcare) site sale. We gathered almost 600 signatures from local organisations and local people, including our MP Jeff Smith and local councillors. You can still add your signature here.
We wrote because the Co-op is currently considering a bid led by the Chorlton Community Land Trust to buy the site that includes the former Gaumont cinema.
For the last few years this has been a Co-op funeral home. When it was a cinema, the Bee Gees famously first performed there, in public, as children.
The community-led bid would create a shared asset for the community, including a food-hall with space for events and to attract Bee Gees fans. Our letter made a strong case for why the Co-op and the local community working together can help promote a strong recovery in Chorlton. If the bid falls through then the Co-op could sell to a developer that would raze the site to build expensive flats.
You can read the letter here.
Co-op members have until midday 10 May to vote in the Co-op elections and for motions at the AGM.
The AGM itself will take place on Saturday 15th May from 10.00am. It's virtual again this year, and you will be able to join by visiting here.
We'll be discussing whether we want to put a question to the AGM at our member meeting on the 8th May.
Unlike most other businesses, the Co-op is owned by, and run for, its millions of customer members, and those members can have a say in how it's run. That includes :
If you're a member, and you've spent the minimum amount to qualify for a vote, you should have received your voting papers - by email or by mail.
Almost 50 people joined our call last September to imagine what kind of Chorlton we want after the recovery - and how we can make it happen. Since then a smaller group has been meeting every two weeks, working on ideas like Our Green Chorlton, and the letter to the Co-op.
The next call is Sunday 9th May from 4pm. It's just one hour and a great way to find out what's going on and hear about some of the ideas people are working on. (This is a different meeting from our Chorlton and District Coops member meeting on 8th May)
Let's Reimagine Our Chorlton is being organised by members of the Chorlton Alliance, including Chorlton and District Co-ops.
We're Chorlton and District Co-ops - local Co-op members making our voice heard in the Co-op and working with other co-ops in the community. We hold short informal meetings every two months and we organise local activity around issues like Fairtrade. Anyone who is interested in co-ops and co-operation is welcome to join us.
Chorlton and District Coops is organised by a group of concerned members of the Co-op. We aim to promote collaboration between members, Co-op stores and other cooperatives in Chorlton.
This site is not published by The Co-operative Group.