Monday, 19 June 2017

Time for our summer newsletter

Yes, it's Co-operatives Fortnight 2017 - and after the last year surely it is indeed time to co-operate. To find out how and where, you could do worse than read our summer 2017 newsletter which is now available from this very website - just click here.

In this issue, we have two events during C14 in Taunton and Frome; we have the Somerset Co-operative Services CIC AGM in Taunton on the 7th July, which also features the return of the popular Director's Forum. That's a chance for people who are directing or leading a variety of social enterprises to share their experiences, learn from each other and offer support and mutual aid.

In addition, we also have updates on social enterprises involved in food and farming; news of innovation in financing community energy; and a sneak preview of the forthcoming workshop in Exeter, is a co-op right for you?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Co-operatives Fortnight 2017

Co-operatives Fortnight is a chance to remind ourselves of the power of co-operation. This year in Somerset we'll be supporting events across the county:
27th June - with Shared Earth Learning, Freco and the Cheese and Grain in Frome
28th June - with Somerset Co-op CLT and Moorvale Credit Union in Taunton
and there's more to come in the week following:
6th July - GO-OP Annual General Meeting in Taunton
7th July - SCS CIC AGM and Social Enterprise Directors gathering in Taunton

It’s a time to co-operate. And after a year of conflict, it's never been needed more. So this year people across the country will be sharing stories of how co-operating, working together, has made a difference. Together we will create a wealth of stories to inspire people to think differently.
Running from 17 June to 1 July 2017, it is organised by Co-operatives UK, sponsored generously by some of the UK’s most successful co-operatives and brought to life by co-ops across the UK.
Why? Because we know that co-operating makes a big difference and it’s time to remind the rest of the UK too.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Spring newsletter

Our spring newsletter is full of bright ideas for making the world a more fertile place: whether it is the conversion of a popular wholefood shop into a co-op, or the prospects for a freelancer's co-op in Taunton, or the emerging co-operative network in Preston, or the latest funding opportunities, you'll find something of interest. And best of all, we keep it short and to the point - ideal for busy people.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas may be approaching fast, but there is just time for one last 2016 co-op event before we disappear into a haze of mulled wine and mince pies.
Since the government cut the Feed in Tariffs, a lot of very smart people have been determined to prevent it slowing down the community energy movement. A new kind of business model is beginning to emerge, that is smarter, more participatory and less reliant on government support. As it happens, it could be an ideal format for urban energy co-ops - and we think Taunton should be first in line.
Do please come and join us on Wednesday 14th at 3pm for a presentation on how smart solar storage could shut down fossil fuel generators across the UK (not too technical) and how it could work in almost any community.
Please check out the attached poster and circulate far and wide - and the event is listed on Facebook, so let us know if you're coming.
Oh, and... there will be mince pies.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Autumn newsletter

Every so often, we get together a newsletter - and here's the latest one. There's news on community owned renewable energy, forging ahead despite unhelpful government policies; some handy pointers for funding and support; news of a pioneering scheme for hiring E-bikes by the half hour; and an update on audacious plans to start the UK's very first rail co-operative, with a route starting in Somerset.
Click for a download.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Going places: co-operative transport solutions

Our events for Co-ops Fortnight will conclude tomorrow with 'Going Place' in Taunton. We will have two presentations - one from Alex Lawrie on GO-OP, the new co-operative rail operator proposing a new route form Taunton to Nuneaton (an ambitious plan, that still requires the consent of the Office of Rail and Road); and one from Mark Hodgson of Co-Cars who will bring their hi-tech car club operation to Taunton soon.
These two projects show how grassroots activism in communities can meet real needs and give rise to fast growing, technologically sophisticated social enterprises. What's more, those enterprises can remain firmly connected to the communities that gave rise to them, using membership participation to continually improve and adapt to the changing world.
Come along to 10 East Reach between 1pm and 3pm to find out more - and please stick around for the Annual General Meeting of SCS CIC at 4.30pm.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Some words of advice for Co-opertives Fortnight.... from 1883

This is well worth a read... the University of Bristol have kindly dug this fascinating document out from their archives and scanned it for me. It is a co-operator considering the way forward for the movement 130 years ago, and I feel he has some entirely worthwhile suggestions for us in 2016. Consider this: "It may be said there is no need for new starts. If what there is is good, we have only to move on in the same line... the fact is that money that has been saved by our working classes is constantly being returned... it is almost certain that a great deal of this returned or unsaved money is being wasted... There is a great opportunity for us to do a great deal more for our fellow-men [sic] if only the zeal, the mutual trustfulness, the singleness of purpose, the power of combination of higher efforts can be found."