We are here to support our members and the wider co‑op sector. Get in touch with one of our team using the contact form.
Rose Marley joins us as Chief Executive in January 2021. She is currently founding Chief Executive of Manchester-based social enterprise SharpFutures, which supports diverse, young talent into creative, digital and tech industries. Rose was directly appointed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to lead a pilot campaign improving local travel opportunities and raising aspiration for young people in Manchester.
She is currently the chair of the Social Enterprise Advisory Group for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, an RSA Fellow as well as an advisory board member for SODA (School of Digital Arts). Rose has had an eclectic career. Self-employed from a young age, she cut her teeth the music business in the era known as ‘Madchester’ before turning her hand to social enterprise, inspired by the lack of social mobility in the creative industries and in search of something more impactful.
Belinda joined Co-operatives UK as Membership Manager in May 2023 after spending over 20 years working in welfare-to-work, managing projects across the country. From 2019, she managed the development and delivery of Our Pass in Greater Manchester, a membership scheme that encouraged over 250,000 young people to try new experiences across the region and to use public transport to get there. This provided an introduction to co-operatives in Greater Manchester and a whole new, equitable world of opportunities. Outside of work, family takes up her every waking moment!
Prior to joining Cooperatives UK as the Project Manager for the Ownership Hub programme, John has been working in the charity and development sector, since graduating in 2006. John was one of the founders of Performers Without Borders, working with young people across India and South America, before focusing on Youth Development work in the UK.
John became interested in the co-op movement through living at Sanford Housing Coop – one of the largest purpose built co-ops in the UK, of which he has been Chair for the last two years.
Emma is a member of Co-operatives UK's Leadership Team (LT) and has been advising co-operatives and mutuals of all sizes on all aspects of governance for over 20 years. As the head of Co-operatives UK’s Advice Team she leads on our chargeable services work and, alongside the rest of the team, ensures that we are the place for our members to find the advice they need. Emma is the author of the Co-operative Code of Governance and specialises in offering expert advice to co-operative boards. She is Co-operatives UK’s Head of Member Services.
Zena has more than 10 years’ experience of co-operative society governance, with an academic background in law and was Co-operatives UK’s Society Secretary for five years. Zena has supported boards in developing strategic plans, policies and processes and has direct experience of leading internal audits and gap analysis exercises.
With experience of effective governance systems, Zena provides practical solutions for co-operatives to bring together corporate governance best practice and co-operative values and principles. Zena is also an accredited data protection practitioner and, alongside supporting our members, leads our own work to ensure compliance with data protection legislation. Zena sits on the board of Co-operatives UK member Projekts MCR and is a former director of Co-operative and Community Finance.
Kate is an experienced HR professional with almost 10 years' experience in HR policy, reward and employee relations in co-operatives. A chartered member of the CIPD specialising in all things policy, Kate is well placed to provide expert advice, guidance and support on all aspects of the employment journey.
Tom joined Co-operatives UK in 2022, having graduated with a first-class degree in politics. Tom has existed in and around the co-operative policy sphere for several years, serving on various committees including a term as National Co-ordinator for the Young Fabians. As Policy Officer, Tom works with our members to influence public policy and to help ensure Government supports the proliferation of new co-operatives across the economy. Outside of work Tom enjoys reading and activism. They also currently serve as a Labour and Co-operative Councillor in Wirral and continue to complete their MA dissertation research into the Co-operative Party.
Isla manages our community shares standards work. Community shares are a popular way to raise finance to save and create much-loved community spaces and businesses. She oversees training and licensing for practitioners and the Community Shares Standard Mark, which recognises high quality community share offers. She also leads on our research and market intelligence on the community shares market and supports Alice Wharton with the groundbreaking Community Shares Booster Programme, which provides match investment for share offers with high levels of community engagement. Based in Scotland, Isla is the Chair of Dig-In Bruntsfield, a community owned greengrocers in Edinburgh and loves cycling, surfing and cooking.
Leoni has been planning training courses, gala dinners and conferences for nearly 10 years, since graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with an Events Management Degree. Since joining Co-operatives UK in 2016, she's co-ordinated an events programme of 60+ events per year, including flagship events; Co-operative Retail Conference, Worker Co-op Weekend, Congress and Practitioners Forum. When not planning a Co-operatives UK or personal event, Leoni enjoys long walks, online fitness classes and spending time with her cats, Simba and Mylo.
Dom has been working with words since he learned to speak, though in a more professional capacity over the last 15 years. A former journalist and court reporter, Dom progressed to managing a team of sports writers for multiple award-winning daily and weekly newspapers before making the switch into the world of co-ops. Skilled at telling a good story, Dom also plays a leading role in much of our design work. When not tapping away on his keyboard, Dom can often be found on an expanse of (often uneven) turf, fuelling his passion for coaching a junior girls football team.
Petra has run her own business and spent many years in local government promoting tourism, economic development and supporting local communities. As part of the busy Development Unit Team at Co-operatives UK, she leads on the delivery of our externally funded support programmes including The Hive and Bright Ideas – and is proud to have supported thousands of co-ops. She’s busy co-operating elsewhere too, as a voluntary Director (Secretary) of Friends of Stretford Public Hall, a historic multi-purpose building owned by its 800 investor members.
Gary has a wealth of experience in the field of employment law, having previously worked as an ACAS officer and for the Employment Tribunals before qualifying as a solicitor at DWF solicitors.
Gary has worked as a solicitor with the Co-operative Group and many independent co-operatives as part of the Co-operative Employers Association and is a very experienced Employment Tribunal advocate and his knowledge and experience extend to all aspects of employment law including complex areas such as TUPE and discrimination.
Irena comes from a media, PR and large stadium events background. She has handled big budgets and international stories before being mic dropped on the bigger values of cooperatives. After years in the corporate sector and having run her own business, Irena is a firm believer in co-operative principles. A committed Christian and treasurer for her local church and community centre, she is passionate about diversifying the co-op sector, simplifying the language and helping members achieve organisational success by shouting about their co-op difference.
Dane works in our Advice team and is the first point of contact for all governance and legal enquiries. Dane specialises in providing advice and guidance to new start co-operatives and mutuals looking to incorporate and supports all types of co-ops with their governance arrangements, processes and policies. Dane also acts as account manager to members that have set up in the last two years and provides guidance to them on all aspects of their governance calendar. He has many years of experience dealing with customers in the retail sector as well as clients in the corporate world.
Ludovica is a designer and has worked as an architect, process designer, researcher and campaigner. She mainly operates in the overlapping spaces between the commons, tech and finance.
She joined Co-operatives UK in 2019 to run the UnFound programme aimed at growing the platform co-ops sector. She now leads the Co-op Development arm of the Policy & Development Team where she develops products and services to support co-ops start or grow, and programmes to expand co-ops in emerging sectors with a particular focus on tech & digital.
Our Agriculture Manager, Richard Self, boasts more than 30 years of experience within the farming, food and land-based industries. Richard heads up the £2m EDGE Apprenticeships scheme at Anglia Farmers and was formerly Regional Manager and national lead on training development at European Farming and Food Partnerships (EFFP). Rural Business Manager at Business Link Suffolk and a Manager at FMTS, a subsidiary of Fram Farmers.
Working in music and tech as a producer, mentor, musician and speaker, Terry is a former Chair of ethical music streaming co-operative Resonate, and has worked with startups in creative technologies and beyond. Terry joined Co-operatives UK in 2023 to work on programmes and activities that promote co-ops in existing and emerging sectors with a particular focus on tech & digital.
As part of the Development Unit, Alice promotes ‘community shares’, to enable effective local economic development and citizen empowerment. She manages the Community Shares Booster Programme, which has already invested over £2m into community-owned businesses, with more to be invested soon. The connections between spaces, places and people fascinate Alice. She has managed projects in a range of sectors, working in public transport and tourism across Europe. Beyond work, Alice enjoys improving her French and Spanish, while coaxing plants to grow!
Gareth has been finding solutions to common business needs for almost 20 years. He’s worked with clients from a range of sectors in the UK and across Europe. Since joining Co-operatives UK in 2012, he’s been working directly with our members to ensure they have access to practical advice and guidance. He also delivers training and hosts local networking events. Gareth is never too far from co-ops, as he’s an active member of his local credit union, a co-op pub and a brewery. In his spare time, you’ll find him walking in the hills or riding one of his bikes.
James joined Co-operatives UK in 2013 as a Policy Officer and has worked his way up to the role of Policy and Development Lead - and is also a member of our Leadership Team (LT). Prior to Co-operatives UK he worked with credit unions, as a student housing case worker and for a housing association. James has been convinced of the need for more just, sustainable and democratic businesses since studying politics at university in the early 2000s. A belief in the benefits of mutualism is a family tradition. James leads our efforts to influence government policy, in order to create better conditions for co-op formation and growth. Outside of work James has a toddler to look after, loves to cycle everywhere and gets about 5 minutes a day to mess about on a guitar.