Co-op advice surgeries at Congress

Following a successful introduction in 2016, Congress will again feature advice surgeries - with expertise from across the co-operative sector. 

Information on the co-operative advisers running the surgeries can be found below. For information on business support and advice available through The Hive - a new business support programme from Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank - click here.

Linda Barlow

Linda joined Co-operatives UK in 2004 and is a Co-operative Governance Advisor in the Advice Team. She has more than 10 years' experience of delivering innovative governance solutions to co-operatives, mutuals and the voluntary and charitable sector. Linda managed the publication of the Handbook of Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Law and has recently updated Co-operatives UK’s leading governance publication – Simply Legal.

Kate Fielding

Kate is an experienced HR professional with more than 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.


Dave Hollings 

Dave is a founder member and Director of Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Limited, a consultancy business providing advice and support to co-operatives and social enterprises. Besides holding management positions in several co-operatives and credit unions he has twenty years experience in providing advice and developmental support to co-operative and mutual enterprises. He is a nationally recognised expert on legal structures for social enterprises and community share issues. Dave has advised 18 communities to successfully take over their much loved local pubs – all are still trading. 

Gary Morrison

Gary is a qualified solicitor with a wealth of experience in the field of employment and employment law, including complex areas such as TUPE and discrimination. He has worked in both the public and private sectors, working as an ACAS officer and for the Employment Tribunals in the early part of his legal career before spending time with DWF Solicitors.

Following his time at DWF Gary spent 7½ years as a solicitor with the Co-operative Group Limited carrying out work both for the Co-operative Group Limited and many independent co-operatives.

Cath Muller

A founding and current member of Footprint Workers’ Co-op and member of Cornerstone Housing Co-op since 1995, Cath has lived communally and worked collectively for 20 years.  
Both co-ops are members of Radical Routes (RR), a mutual aid federation for co-ops working for a radically different world, based on co-operation and mutual aid, common ownership, non-hierarchy and ecological sustainability.

Cath runs financial literacy training for co-ops through the RR Trading Co-ops Network and provides support/advice for co-ops informally, through RR and through Co-operative Business Consultants ( Personally and professionally, she has helped set up numerous community and campaigning co-ops.

Mark Simmonds

Mark is a founder member of Co-op Culture – a co-operative that specialises in the support of co-operative enterprises working for social change and sustainability Mark has a particular interest in sustainable food and farming initiatives, social forestry, community enterprise and worker co-operatives. Talk to Mark about legal structures, community shares and governance.