Co-operating with co-ops to support financial wellbeing
On 12th March, we were proud to attend the Co-ops Retail Conference in Crewe as exhibitors. This is the first time we’ve supported the event in this way and we were really pleased with the warm welcome we received from delegates and fellow exhibitors alike.
As a credit union – The Co-op Credit Union, no less – we’re committed to the sixth principle of co-operation: co-operation among co-operatives. Credit unions, as co-ops, are all about doing business differently – we’re owned by the people that use our services and it’s only their interests that we have in mind when we come to work every day.
And we’re in the very fortunate position that the businesses whose employees and members we serve are also co-ops – we have a shared ethos and set of values that are about putting people before profit.
So it was great to get out there after two years locked up at home and to shout about all the important work we’re doing to support our members and their employers who, in their turn, are all about supporting their communities, their members and the people that produce the products for sale on the shelves.
It was particularly good to chat with those attending all about the work we published in January to conclude our year-long Purpose Project. We spent 12 months thinking and talking to partners and members about what it is that makes us different and how we might do more to support our members’ financial wellbeing. We came up with five themes:
1. Campaigning – using our voice to support our members and what matters to them
2. Social goals – setting minimum levels of what we’ll always do to make sure we’re offering our service where our profit-driven rivals don’t and offering new tools to help members manage their money better
3. Code of practice – committing to an industry benchmark on good practice established by Fair 4 All Finance
4. Diversity & inclusion – doing everything we can to be as diverse as our membership and include those from all backgrounds and asking our members to show us how
5. Co-op principles – affirming our commitment to education of members and co-operating with other co-ops
Overall, we want to bring all of this together to support the good mental health and wellbeing of our members through good financial health.
We’re committed to our values as a co-op and we’re committed to supporting co-ops like our own to thrive. But most of all we’re committed to supporting good financial wellbeing to support good mental health.
Does your co-op organisation offer Co-op Credit Union Membership yet?