Firstly, I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to all our supporters that I've not had the chance to meet so far in 2019. As you might expect, this year has seen an extremely busy start, however I'd like to begin by recapping just some of our exciting news from the final months of 2018. 

Our centenary celebrations began in November as we held a launch event in central Manchester, attended by many of our members, staff and partner organisations. The event was a big success and the perfect start to a landmark year.

Young people celebrating

Last month we were delighted to receive the news that we'd been successful in our bid for funding from the RBS Skills and Opportunities Fund, allowing us to expand our Together Enterprise project to Scotland. We'll be working with young people in Pilton, near Edinburgh to transform their lives for the better. For more information about the project, click the button below.

Together Enterprise Scotland 

young care leavers performing

Our Youth Co-operative Action project also came to an end, with the lives of many of those involved changed for the better. The project, which worked with young people in care from across Greater Manchester focused on loneliness and the impact it had on their lives. They told their stories through a unique drama performance involving singing, dance and even a desert island monologue! We’ve produced a video about the project and put together a case study from one of the young people involved. Laura talks movingly about how being part of the project has helped her battle anxiety and improved her confidence. See more below.

More about Youth Co-operative Action                           Laura's Story

2018 ended with a great feature about the College and our work in the 2018 Co-op News review, which you can access via the button below. It features a number of interviews with figures across the movement and is a great read.

Co-op News 2018 Review

Education books in library

As we turn our attentions to this year, our centenary celebrations continue to build. There are a number of projects that we’re both involved in and leading on over the coming months, with one of the most notable being the Adult Education 100 campaign. Working with a number of partners including the WEA, Nottingham University, The Raymond Williams Foundation and Oxford University, we’re examining what needs to change to ensure that lifelong learning is fit for the 21st century and beyond. More information about the project, its partners and the Centenary Commission is available below.

Adult Education

Undoubtedly though, our biggest project this year will be our work in creating a Co-operative University to challenge the current status quo in Higher Education. We want to offer something that’s truly different with students right at the heart. Progress continues to be extremely encouraging and as I write, we remain on track to launch degree level programmes in the autumn of this year. See more information about the project and the story so far below.

Co-operative University

Entrepreneur illustration

Finally, our work in Rochdale continues with a scheme to help budding entrepreneurs. Known as the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement, we’re committed to playing a key role in its rejuvenation and want to help local people make their business dreams a reality. There’s still time to get involved, with the first session taking place on 16 January. More details are available below.

Together Enterprise 

So as you can see, a packed year to come and plenty to keep us focused as we continue our work to transform communities and change lives for the better. If you have any questions then please get in touch with us below, and if you haven’t already, sign up to our mailing list for updates throughout 2019!

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