Masterclass event educates over 100 youngsters in Leicester about the merits of co-operatives

Over 100 youngsters spending part of their summer holidays developing life skills to aid them in their future careers have taken part in a special masterclass event at De Montfort University which highlighted the importance of co-operatives.

Central England Co-operative linked up with Leicestershire Education Business Company (LEBC) to educate youngsters aged 15-17 about the difference of the co-operative model when it comes to the business world.

This project formed part of the National Citizen Service programme, which offers children the chance to use their school holidays to expend their horizons, learn new skills, talk to employers and improve their confidence by meeting new people.

The Co-operative Masterclass revolved around the business case for co-operatives and involved asking students to identify if there was a gap in the market for co-operatives for young people.

The students were split into groups and tasked with putting together a co-operative business idea demonstrating the co-operative values and principles, before presenting their ideas to their peers at the end of the day.

Karen Bevan, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “The masterclass is a way in which we showcase co-operatives to youngsters, while it is also a great opportunity for them to use the skills they have and develop new skills and confidence to support them in their future careers.

“The students came up with some fantastic ideas and I hope we have left them knowing that there is a different way to do business.”

The event saw colleagues from across Central England Co-operative and Membership and Community Council members donate their time to help youngsters come up with ideas for their own co-ops including one which took the idea of a food bank and developed it to offer a ‘hygiene bank’, giving people in poverty access to toiletries, hot showers, medical and dental care and even haircuts.

Fay Wilson, from LEBC, said: “The event was about teaching youngsters new skills and confidence building as well as having fun, learning about the world of work and improving employability for the future.

“The feedback has been really positive and they have all learned so much about co-operatives, particularly how they reinvest in the community around them and how members own a stake in the business.”

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

 

Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop