There are many great initiatives that support local communities. One of the oldest and most influential initiatives however is over 167 years old. Back in 1844 a group of ordinary people in Rochdale created a business that was owned by its customers and that reinvested in the community it was located in. Although, it was a completely new concept the business that you all know as the Co-operative now became a huge success and started a revolution across the country which is still growing strong. The video below shows you how it all started and also gives you a great impression of how strong the Co-operative's impact on local communities still is.
Today in the UK, as well as The Co-operative Group with its six million members and 5,000 outlets across its family of businesses including food, financial services, travel, pharmacy and funerals, there are thousands of other co-operators who share the same heritage. They are people like you and me – people with ideas, dreams and visions – but they have empowered and brought their own revolutions to life. There are lots of great success stories about brilliant community projects and all of them are equally inspiring but the community group “Play Montgomeryshire” really stood out for me as a former teaching assistant. The group provides families with free or low cost activities that give children greater opportunity to learn through play. One of their services, the Machynlleth Toy Library, came under threat of closure when its existing funding was cancelled. The library is a well-loved part of the local community, and Mieke and the Play Montgomeryshire team were determined to save it. The group approached The Co-operative and secured a donation of £2,000 from their Community Fund. As a result, they are now confident that the library will continue to serve local children.
I have only just moved to my neighbourhood but I know that there live many young families in my area that can't afford to take their children to softplay areas, the zoo or to a football game. Let's be honest, if you have a mortgage and bills to pay, splashing out on fun activities that stimulate your little one's creativity can be difficult or even impossible. Community projects like “Play Montgomeryshire” are a massive help for young families, so if you have an idea on how to help improve your community why not start your own revolution? Apply on the official website or vote for other great projects. You can keep up to date with them on Facebook or even better join the revolution and get involved!