I am genuinely thrilled that we have been shortlisted for the Co-operatives UK’s Co-operative of the Year Award. It really is an honour for our small Society to be recognised in this way.
We are one of nine co-operatives across the UK in the running for the prestigious title; other shortlisted nominees include producers, a football club and foster carers.
The calibre of the nominations looks very high and includes some of the most interesting and successful co-operatives in Britain.
This year, for the very first time, the national title will be decided by an online vote. It really would be terrific if our comparatively tiny business could upset the odds and walk away with the title! But we need your help…
So, why have we been nominated?
Last year we returned £8,000,000 to you, our members, we also gave £200,000 to local causes and £11,000,000 to local producers.
Community is at the heart of every thing we do. It is who we are and giving back is part of our DNA. We keep our money in the local economy. We are on show - every day. We are the bedrock of our community. We listen and we act.
We orchestrated our diversification into community pharmacy, laying firm foundations for future growth.
We created Co-operative Medical Care, celebrating patient focused, high quality healthcare at an affordable price. This was a strategic response to a broken market with patient governance at its heart.
We guided our communities and our colleagues through the difficult debate on local warehousing and food security, ultimately winning strong support from our Members.
We anticipated and responded to changing consumer habits and successfully defended our leading market position.
Through some of the most turbulent trading conditions in a generation, we sustained member dividend of 4%.
So, regardless of whether we win the Co-operative of the Year award, which of course would be nice, Your Society will remain at the heart of this community, where we belong.
If you would like to cast a vote in support of the Society, voting is open now and will remain live until Friday 19 June. Winners will be announced on Friday 26 June at Birmingham Town Hall, and we would really appreciate your support!