Way back in 1844 – yes, even before I was born (cheeky) – a group calling themselves The Rochdale Pioneers started a revolution. Yes, in this country, in the U.K. And yet most of us have never heard of them.
What they started is now a group of businesses with 6 million members & 5,000 outlets covering food, financial services, travel, pharmacy & funerals.
What did these Rochdale Pioneers do that was so revolutionary so as bring all this about? They started the first successful co-operative, that’s what – which became what we now know today as the Co-operative Group.
Despite their size & success they have stayed true to their roots & are as committed to their ethics now as were those 19th century pioneers. Every year they support thousands of endeavours both here & overseas, helping people to make their world a better place.
They’re launching a major campaign highlighting the impact these original co-operators had on the way we live & urging consumers (that’s you & I) to “Join the Revolution”. I’m glad to be a part of it. And here’s just one reason why, just one example among many of what they’re about:
Anyone who’s familiar with this blog will probably know how much value we put on playing with our twin babies. It’s not only fun for them & for us but can also be educational. I see it as a vital part of their development & of their growing into healthy happy adults. Play Montgomeryshire is a group who seem to agree with me on this. They provide families with free or low cost activities that give children greater opportunity to learn through play. When one of their services, the Machynlleth Toy Library, had its existing funding cancelled & came under threat of closure they approached The Co-operative and secured a donation of £2,000 from their Community Fund. That amount should mean the difference such a great local resource closing or staying open.
I like to think that the community project that I’m involved in in no small way owes some of its ethos to those Rochdale pioneers. Aiming to provide a central resource for families & community groups, the Steering Group is currently made up of various Council & school employees. Once it’s underway though the aim is to hand over its administration to local people: people like me.
This is a sponsored post