People from co-ops across the UK are invited to choose the winners of the prestigious Co-op of the Year Awards in 2020.
Held at the historic Rochdale Town Hall, in honour of the 175th anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers who founded the modern day co-operative movement, Co-operatives UK members can put themseleves forward to sit on the judging panel AND nominate co-ops or individuals worthy of an award.
For the first time, the winners of the co-op awards will be chosen through a combination of judges scores and a public vote. Whilst several individual Co-operator of the Year Awards will be selected by a panel of judges representing a range of co-ops.
"We're shaking up the way we select the Co-op of the Year Award winners, with an open invitation to our members to sit on the judging panel. Judges will have the power to select the people and co-ops that they feel are deserving of an award from those nominated, which will be combined with a public vote to ulimately choose the winners.
Last year's Co-operator of the Year Awards were so popular that we're planning to hand out several individual awards, honouring an inspirational group of people who embody the co-operative values. It doesn't matter at what stage you are in your co-operative career, we're expecting to see a diverse range of awards presented and chosen by our democratic panel of judges, " explains Ed Mayo, Secretary General
The winners will be presented with their awards on Friday 19 June at a glittering gala dinner held in Rochdale. The awards are being hosted in the home of co-operation to celebrate 175 years since the Rochdale Pioneers established the first commercially successful co-operative, and 150 years since Co-operatives UK was founded in 1870, making it a double celebration.
There are three awards for co-ops based on turnover, an award for the co-op council of the year and several individual awards presented to people who have contributed to shaping the co-operative movement.
The Co-op of the Year Awards are sponsored for the second year running by The Co-operative Bank.
Maria Cearns Managing Director, Current Accounts and Savings from sponsors The Co-operative Bank, said:
“The awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of co-operative organisations across the UK. We look forward to hearing how organisations and individuals use the power of co-operation to enable their businesses to flourish in a fair and equitable way. I'm really looking forward to seeing who wins in 2020 and celebrating with all the nominees in Rochdale, the home of co-operation.”
The Co-op of the Year Awards are FREE to enter and open to all Co-operatives UK members. The closing date to apply to sit on the judging panel is 30 March and the closing date to nominate a co-op, co-op council or individual co-operator is 20 April 2020.