Press release

Co-ops to clean up for Co-operatives Fortnight 2016

Building on last year’s success, the theme for Co-operatives Fortnight 2016 – which runs from 18 June to 2 July – will once again be the Big Co-op Clean. Co-operatives up and down the country will be lending a hand and organising clean-ups of public spaces in their local areas.

Co-operatives Fortnight is the co-operative sector’s annual campaign, a two-week period when co-operatives of all shapes and sizes come together to encourage people to choose co-operative.

Organised by Co-operatives UK, sponsored by some of the country’s most successful co-operatives and brought to life by co-ops nationwide, Co-operatives Fortnight is the perfect time for co-operatives to showcase that they are a co-op.

Launched in 2010, Co-operatives Fortnight has gone from strength to strength. Last year the Big Co-op clean was introduced as a focused activity that co-operatives of all kinds could organise. Over 100 co-ops participated in organising clean-ups of local parks, river banks, beaches and public spaces, or encouraged their customers to clean out their cupboards and donate to foodbanks.

“Co-operatives Fortnight is a crucial period in the sector’s annual calendar, when co-operatives take concerted action to raise awareness of co-operatives. The Big Co-op Clean is simple way to take part, enabling co-ops to raise their organisation’s profile, make a difference in their local area and show that we can achieve more working together than we can alone.” Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives UK.

Gemma Lacey, Head of Sustainability and Communications at the large consumer-owned retailer, The Southern Co-operative, said:

"The Big Co-op Clean isn’t just about picking up litter; it’s about achieving more by working together. It might sound obvious, but co-operating is central to our success as a co-operative – and we are part of something much bigger happening across the UK."

Hannah Nadim, the Chair of the Fox and Goose, a co-operative pub in West Yorkshire, added: “The 2015 Big Co-op Clean was a great opportunity for us to work with like-minded people and at the same time improve our local environment.

"While we worked we swapped ideas about community enterprises and co-operatives. All in all, a very productive and enjoyable day.”

The worker owned co-op Unicorn Grocery in Manchester also organised a Big Co-op Clean. Kellie Bubble, a director of this business, said: “Co-operatives Fortnight is always an opportunity for us to shout about how proud we are to be part of the co-operative movement, but last year is one we also truly enjoyed.

"Cleaning up a much-loved cycling and walking route in Manchester with fellow co-operators and customers was a great and satisfying experience … and a chance to chat with those passing about Co-operatives Fortnight.”

Co-operatives Fortnight resources, including a Big Co-op Clean toolkit, imagery, logos, standard wording, posters and press releases on the Co-operatives Fortnight website.

Co-operatives Fortnight is organised by Co-operatives UK and sponsored by Central England Co-operative,Channel Islands Co-operative Society, Chelmsford Star Co-operative, East of England Co-operative Society, Lincolnshire Co-operative, Scotmid, The Southern Co-operative and The Co-operative Group.