Co-op introduces 150 new Member Pioneers to help disconnected communities

Co-op has announced it will be helping communities across the UK to stay engaged through the work of its 1,000 Member Pioneers.

The push comes following a study by the symbol group retailer which found that 43% of people feel disconnected within the community that they live in, with one in four looking to move elsewhere within the next five years.

In looking to combat this issue, the retailer has added a further 150 Member Pioneers, funded by its Co-op membership scheme, to offer practical advice, help and making communities a better place to work and live.

The study found the main reason for people wanting to move away from their current areas is due to them not feeling a strong connection to their community.

Half of respondents also agreed they do not see their local area changing within the next five years, with 22% believing it would get worse.

Main reasons for this thinking included a lack of community pride, no facilities such as shops or doctors’ surgeries and not enough government or local council funding.

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Regions found to have the least community engagement include the West Midlands, London, Scotland, Wales and the North East.

However Northern Ireland, the East of England and the East Midlands were seen to have the most engagement with 52% of people who said they do feel connected within their community, feeling this gives them a sense of belonging.

“It’s concerning that so many people feel disconnected from their local community,” Co-op director of community and membership, Rebecca Birkbeck said.

“Our study shows that when people come together good things happen which is crucial during these challenging times.

“Our Member Pioneers have a vital role to play in helping their local communities connect, which is why, through our Co-op membership scheme we’re going to be arming more communities with even more of these wonderful people.”



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