Tag Archives: The Co-operative Group

Soap Stars Signal The Start Of The Co-operative’s Support For Mencap And Enable Scotland

Soap stars Natalie Cassidy and Alan Halsall joined forces to cheer on staff from acrossThe Co-operative Group, as it started its year of fundraising for new Charity of the Year partner, Mencap and sister charity, ENABLE Scotland.

Natalie, a Mencap ambassador who plays Sonia Fowler Eastenders, is a two times winner of a British Soap Award and, was recently the focus of reality TV series, ‘Becoming a Mum’. While Alan is well known for his role as Tyrone Dobbs in Coronation Street – a character he has played for over 12 years.

Both pledged their support as The Co-operative embarks on a year-long, fun-filled programme of fundraising to help the charity to transform the lives of 20,000 young people in the UK with a learning disability.

With The Co-operative’s support, Mencap and ENABLE Scotland will launch a programme offering support to young people with a learning disability, including a range of volunteering opportunities, employment and community projects. The Co-operative is hoping to smash its previous Charity of the Year fundraising total which saw it raise £3.7million for RNID.

Speaking at the launch of the Charity of the Year partnership, Natalie Cassidy, who gave birth to daughter Eliza last September, said: “The Co-operative’s support will allow Mencap and ENABLE Scotland to give thousands of young people with a learning disability across the UK opportunities to play a more active part in their communities.

Via EPR Network
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The Co-operative Gets Ready, Steady, Go-Ho-Ho?

The frosty weather added the finishing touches to arrangements as hundreds of festive fundraisers dressed as Father Christmas to take part in The Co-operative Santa Dashes in Manchester and London – on Sunday (28 November) – raising almost £40,000 for learning disability charity, Mencap.

In Manchester’s Platt Fields Park, Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas was at the front of the pack of Santas – for The Co-operative Group’s second annual Santa Dash in the city – as they were set on their way by City of Manchester Lord Mayor, Councillor Mark Hackett.

At the same time, Crystal Palace Park played host to The Co-operative’s inaugural Santa Dash in London, where local actress Kellie Shirley – well known for her role as Carly Wicks in BBC soap Eastenders – joined a sleigh-load of Santas for the festive fun.

The family-friendly events saw Santas running, jogging, walking and dancing around the 5k courses. Ryan Thomas said: “There was a fantastic atmosphere on the day and I was proud to be involved in such a fun-filled event that is raising money for a worthy cause such as Mencap – It was a great success and a tremendous way for The Co-operative to get its fundraising for its 2011 Charity of the Year off and running!”

Kellie Shirley continued: “It’s great that so many people entered into the Christmas spirit and came to Crystal Palace to support such a worthwhile cause.”

The Santa Dash is The Co-operative’s first event with its new Charity of the Year partner for 2011, Mencap. The Co-operative is raising charity donations for Mencap in 2011 to help transform the lives and dreams of up to 20,000 young people with a learning disability across the UK – Inspiring young people with a learning disability to change their world for the better by helping them to gain new skills and the confidence to play a more active part in their communities.

Via EPR Network
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Britain’s Young Are Misunderstood, Says The Co-Operative

An alarming disconnect between the generations is highlighted by a new survey which dispels the widely held myth that young people just want to be famous.

The research released on 11 November by The Co-operative as part of its ‘Inspiring Young People’ campaign, shows that more than half of adults (58 per cent) think that the younger generation just wants fame and celebrity status.

The reality, however, is quite different with 76 per cent of those aged 25 and under stating that their main ambition was to have a prolonged and successful career. Whereas only seven per cent of the young people surveyed said they had ambitions to be a famous star.

The Co-operative, which launched its campaign in July to challenge the way young people are viewed and treated in this country and to support their future life goals and ambitions, asked 3,000 people across all ages and regions of the country about their thoughts on young people in society today.

Almost half of adults (46 per cent) believe that young people admire their friends more than their parents or teachers with almost three quarters of adults (73 per cent) believing that young people didn’t admire their parents at all.

In actual fact, more than half of the young people surveyed (54 per cent) listed a parent as the person they admire above all others.

Our future generation is also misunderstood when it comes to respecting their elders with a staggering 83 per cent of adults believing that young people have a lack of respect for them. In contrast, young people demonstrated a much higher level of respect for adults with 43 per cent saying that they respected those who were much older themselves.

Commenting on the survey, Group Secretary Moira Lees said: “This survey gives a worrying insight into the gap that exists between the generations in this country and, sadly, as a society, we harbour a widespread negative attitude towards young people which doesn’t encourage or help to inspire them.

“All too often, we see or hear stories which portray youngsters as poorly educated, work-shy and uncaring,” she said. “As someone who helps run a business which employs over 120,000 people, a quarter of whom are aged 25 and under, I know this just isn’t true – we must start talking up the young in this country and see them as the solution rather than the problem.

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Co-operative Awarded For Charity Partnerships

The UK’s largest community retailer, The Co-operative Group has been honoured with two prestigious awards for its pioneering charity partnership work, which focuses on young people, in this year’s Business Charity Awards.

The Group scooped both the Employment Award and Best UK Project Award at London’s Grosvenor House last week. The winning projects are prime examples of The Co-operative’s work to inspire young people to change their world for the better.

The Employment Award 2010 went to the retailer for its pioneering Making Opportunities scheme which was set up to ensure that it’s stores reflected the diverse nature of the communities in which it trades.

Through the programme, The Co-operative, working with the charity Mencap, introduces people with learning difficulties into paid employment, through the process of a work trial, which replaces the interview process.

Gwynneth Smedley, Regional Operations Director for The Co-operative Food, said: “By working with the charity Mencap we are engaging one of the most excluded groups of disabled people, providing them with the opportunity to reach their potential, gain meaningful work experience and employment, and contribute to society.

“There are currently over 1.3 million disabled people in the UK who are available for work and who want to work. Our Making Opportunities scheme is unique in that it offers guaranteed paid employment to people with learning difficulties on successful completion of a work trial. So far, 154 people have taken part in the work trial and 92 have been offered permanent employment within our Co-operative Food stores (80 of which are 25 or under).”

During the event, The Co-operative Group also received The Best UK Project Award for its Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers programme. The product of a close working relationship with national sports charity, StreetGames, the programme supports 16-25 year olds from the most deprived communities across England and Wales to develop their talents and abilities through sports volunteering in their local communities and is just one part of The Co-operative’s contributions towards corporate social responsibility.

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Newport Ashley Named UK Volunteer Of The Year 2010

Ashley Pyke, aged 17 from Newport, has been named The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteer of the Year 2010. The announcement was made at a special youth conference being held by The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers programme as part of National Volunteers Week.

The awards, now in their second year, recognise the outstanding work being carried out by young people involved in The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers initiative. The programme, which operates throughout Wales and England, was established by The Co-operative and youth sports development charity StreetGames, to help young people from disadvantaged areas gain sports coaching and community leadership skills by volunteering at their local neighbourhood sports project.

The 7 finalists from England & Wales shortlisted for the awards were judged on factors including skills and qualifications gained, general attitude, impact on other young people and their community, as well as their personal journey and achievements.

Ashley, aged 17, volunteers at the Newport Positive Futures project which delivers sport to young people throughout Newport.

Despite having a turbulent family history and arriving in Duffryn without knowing anyone, Ashley has become an integral figure in the community. As well as leading sports session for local young people, Ashley has also mentored other volunteers experiencing troubles, is involved with attracting funding to the project and has pushed himself to gain qualifications which have meant that the project has been able to extend the activities it offers. He has also gone on to use his new found skills and confidence to gain employment with a local ‘Soccer Tots’ programme for under six year olds.

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