Central Co-op Starts its Pride Celebrations in Birmingham
Posted by sam bishop | Published: 01/06/2023
Before the start of Pride month in June, Central Co-op has already got involved with the festivities, as this past weekend saw colleagues attend the annual Pride event in Birmingham. This is just one of the ways that the Society is supporting Pride, showing solidarity with all members of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Throughout the summer further Pride events are being held in Corby, Peterborough, Chesterfield, and Leicester, with Central Co-op colleagues local to these events attending and show their support. The Society welcomes customers and Members to join in with the celebrations, wherever they may be.
For Pride month Central Co-op is also hosting a webinar for colleagues to learn about the journey to parenthood for those in the LGBTQIA+ community, building upon wider conversations about fertility treatment and pregnancy loss in the Society this year. An information guide is also available, as are podcasts and webinars, detailing the origins of Pride and its importance.
Central Co-op has also this year worked with Source by Oxfam to stock Pride products including mugs, pins, tote bags, and more. These products are in 10 stores, celebrating LGBTQIA+ rights while also funding the great work that Oxfam does, and these stores are in Lichfield, Oakham, Ripley, Whetstone, Bakewell, Halesworth, Ibstock, Market Harborough, Thrapston, and Oundle.
As a part of the Community Dividend Fund, in which Central Co-op invests a percentage of its trading profit into local community causes, Central Co-op has recently funded The Kite Trust too, supporting the wellbeing and creativity of LGBTQ+ young people in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and surrounding areas.
Katie Girling-Weeks, Operations Manager at The Kite Trust, said: “Funding from the Community Dividend Fund supported our food costs associated with our activities. We try to ensure that all of our programming has either snacks and/or a hot meal provided. This is vital during the current cost of living crisis and due to the fact that many young LGBTQ+ are more likely to be in low income or temporary roles.”
“In addition, funding supported the delivery of our September three-day residential for 21 LGBTQ+ young people. Our residentials provide a unique opportunity for young LGBTQ+ people to come together in a safe space and make new connections. We undertook a variety of outdoor challenge activities, community building, and safe space work, all aimed at increasing the confidence and self-esteem of the cohort, whilst providing LGBTQ+ role models and community space.”
Central Co-op will continue to celebrate as Pride month kicks off in June and encourages customers and Members to celebrate with these communities as well, with colleagues sharing their stories with each other as well. They will even be wearing badges in store to show solidarity during June.
About Central Co-op
Central Co-op is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK, with a heritage stretching back over 175 years and interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.
Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its 7,700 colleagues serve customers across 440 plus trading sites in 21 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Its purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all.
It actively campaigns for food justice and works with FareShare Midlands and a network of local food banks. It also adds £1 to every Healthy Start Voucher redeemed in store and supports six schools in partnership with Magic Breakfasts.
The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter. The Society is also a member of Diversity in Retail and it is fully committed to addressing the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon and food waste, increasing recycling and investment in community Sustainable Spaces funded by the carrier bag levy. It recently launched its Malawi Partnership to support farmers and producers in the country through the Co-operative International Trading Development Fund.
It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £109,769.25 shared out between 121 good causes in 2022.
Press office contact: Sam Bishop, PR Specialist