Conference explores relationship counselling for co-operatives

Co-operators from across various sectors will meet up later this month to discuss the best strategies of maintaining engagement of members.

Every year, Future Co-ops delegates focus on a specific topic. This year’s theme is “Relationship counselling for co-ops!”. The conference in Church Stretton will gather participants from across the movement, from large retail societies to small worker co-operatives.

Executive Director of Future Co-operatives, Jo White, said: “This year, the Future Co-operatives conference is all about relationship counselling for co-ops! Maybe you remember your first co-op? Maybe it was membership love at first sight? But over the years, it can be tough to keep the relationships between co-ops and their members fresh and exciting.”

The conference will feature a presentation by Daran Brown, Managing Director at School Trends, a leading supplier of personalised school uniforms and since 2004 an employee-owned enterprise.

On Saturday, delegates will receive advise on how to engage members, employees and customers from Ben Reid, Chief Executive of Midcounties Co-operative. With 245,000 members and 9,000 members, Midcounties is the largest independent co-operative in the UK.

The conference will further explore the issue of member engagement through a series of workshops hosted by Woodcraft Folk, Cwm Harry and Abundance Generation. Rich Hadley, a business psychologist, marketing specialist and management consultant will also give a presentation on how to “maintain alive” the relationship between co-ops and their members.

“Building on the success of the 2013 event and the feedback from our incredibly loyal delegates we’ve recruited an interesting variety of speakers to share how their own experiences – some co-op, some not co-op – might help us to engage better with our people whether they’re members, workers, customers or all of the above. We confidently predict co-op love will be breaking out after Future Co-ops 2014!,” said Jo White.

The Future Co-operatives Conference will take place on 24-26 January at the Longmynd Hotel in Church Stretton.

For more information go to

Future Co-operatives Conference 2014


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