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Mutual, co-operative, friendly – what’s in a name?

The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope was established in 1845 in South Africa as an insurance mutual. It became known over the years as ‘the old mutual’ and this in turn became its trading name. That was smart marketing – after all, it always helps to see yourself in ways that are in line with how your customers want to see you.

Media coverage on Piers

Co-operatives UK achieved more than 200 pieces of media coverage for our new report launched on piers. This focused on the work done in Hastings to bring their pier into community ownership and to set about the task of restoring it to its former glory. The following list highlights where we achieved media coverage on 26 August 2013.

BBC News 24

Co-operation by the seaside

As seaside piers enjoy their busiest month of the year, we have published a report by Jess Steele, The People’s Piers, which examines the ownership, usage and future of Britain’s piers.

The good news is that seaside piers remain as popular as ever, with 6 million people a year visiting them. The report also shows that:

The Social Enterprise SE100 Index

Help build the story of Social Enterprise in the UK on SE100.net

The leading market intelligence tool for social ventures, the RBS SE100 Index has re-launched for 2013 with a live, online market intelligence platform allowing socially innovative organisations to track their growth and rate how well they are measuring their social impact.

Claim or create your RBS SE100 organisation profile to make sure your organisation is part of the picture.

Why should Co-operatives take part?

Responsible rating?

Good News for CDS Co-operatives

CDS Co-operatives is delighted to report that it is one of only 3 organisations to receive formal accreditation with the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) and that it has recruited two highly experienced women as Chief Executive and Finance Director.

CDS has achieved formal accreditation with CCH after a thorough and independent validation process showed that the organisation delivers high standards of service to its co-operative clients and has the knowledge and experience to work effectively with a wide range of housing co-operatives.

Celebrate Community Energy Fortnight

Last year, we joined forces with some of the UK’s best known national organisations to form the Community Energy Coalition, including The National Trust, Women’s Institute, Transition Towns, Friends of the Earth and many more.

Together we are now supporting the first ever Community Energy Fortnight, starting this Saturday, to highlight the benefits of community owned renewable energy and energy savings schemes, and to celebrate pioneering projects.

A library in a shop?

I visited the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society this week, to see how they are creating space on the high street for libraries.

With cuts all around, the county may have to close up to 32 of its 46 libraries. This is where the co-operative has stepped in, recognising that if communities want it, then there may be new ways to keep the service alive. The co-op is piloting 5 libraries in-store, as well as services such dropping off books with its existing home prescription service for house-bound patients.

Member Case study: Green Office Coop

The Green Office Coop are a relatively new member of Co-operatives UK who manufacture printer cartridges by working with prisoners and ex-offenders.  This article shines a spotlight on their activity and their lessons of Government procurement contracts.

Community reinvestment

Banking that helps? The framework of regulation and incentives that promote equal opportunities in finance in the USA has long stood out as a model for success.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act in the 1970s was a response to allegations of race discrimination in lending by banks. The Act required them to publish their lending data. This was followed by the Community Reinvestment Act, that widened the disclosure and added an obligation on banks to serve all the community in which they were licensed to operate.

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