Penny Post Celebrates Co-Op Fortnight!

Over the next couple of weeks, Penny Post will be celebrating co-op fortnight! Co-op fortnight is a campaign organised by Co-operatives UK to raise awareness of co-ops. For two weeks every year co-ops come together to hold events, share stories, and spread the word about the power of co-operation!

What is a co-op?

A co-op is a business that is owned and controlled by members to meet their shared needs. The members can be its customers, employees, residents, or suppliers, who have a say in how the co-op Is ran. Every co-op in the world shares the same principles which are:

  • A co-op is owned and controlled by its members. It exists for the benefit of its members who may be customers workers, suppliers, or the wider community.
  • A co-op Is democratic - this means every member has an equal say in how it is run and how profits are used.
  • Every member contributes financially in some way – from buying products, working for the co-op, investing in it, or deciding how to spend its profits.
  • A co-op is an independent business, owned and controlled by its members.
  • It offers education and training to everyone involved so they can develop the co-op and promote the benefits of the co-operation.
  • It co-operates, works with, and supports other co-ops.
  • A co-op supports the communities it works with.

In the UK, there are currently 7,063 independent co-ops that employ a total of 241,714 people. Over 14 million members own and have a say in how the nation’s co-ops co-operate.

Why Penny Post is proud to be a co-op!

Penny Post is proud to be a co-operative serving members across the Royal Mail family! ‘People helping people’ is at the heart of everything we do. Over the past 25 years, with the help of our members, we have lent over £75 million and have paid over £4 million in dividends to our members.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for everyone but as a cooperative, we were able to support our members. From short term help to members whose income was impacted by the pandemic, unlocking Plus and Christmas accounts to allow members to access savings, to affordable loans to help members in difficult circumstances, Penny Post was there for members. “Being able to help our members when times are hard is something that we are incredibly proud of” said Penny Post CEO, Matt Goulding, in the Annual Report.

Sadly, the pandemic also took a number of lives. Thanks to our Bereavement Fund, we were able to pay out over £62,000 to the families of members who sadly passed away. The Penny Post Bereavement Fund is a free benefit to all members, giving financial help and peace of mind in the event of a member’s death.

Click below to find out read 3 members’ stories of how we supported them during the pandemic.

Co-operatives are the ethical way of doing business where everyone is valued! They provide their members with many benefits such as an opportunity to gain a financial return on your investment and even the feeling of solidarity from knowing you are supporting your community!

To learn more about the history of cooperatives and the Rochdale Pioneers who founded the modern cooperative movement, click here to view our special 25th Anniversary eBook.

Find out more about the benefits of joining Penny Post by clicking here.

Find out more about co-operative fortnight and co-operatives by clicking here.