Our former Chair of Trustees Nigel Todd has been honoured with a posthumous Co-op Lifetime achievement Award. A much loved member of the College family, Nigel very sadly passed away earlier this year.  He was selected for the accolade as part of the annual Co-op of the Year Awards after receiving several nominations and being handpicked by a judging panel. The awards are organised by Co-operatives UK and sponsored by The Co-operative Bank.

Nigel Todd at The Co-operative Colleges Centenary Conference

At the time of his death in March 2021, Nigel also had also recently joined the board of the Co-operative Heritage Trust, a true reflection of his dedication to the co-operative movement and his steadfast belief that co-operation provided many of the answers to the problems that society faces.

Our former Co-operative College Principal and CEO, Dr Cilla Ross, received the award on Nigel's behalf and recorded a moving tribute that you can watch below.

About Nigel

Nigel was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1980. He chaired the New Deal for Communities initiative, which brought millions of pounds of regeneration funding into the area. He also chaired the Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership, as well as the Labour Party’s city-wide Local Campaign Forum.

In 2019, Nigel was instrumental in reinvigorating the work on adult education, galvanising a group of organisations that included us,  adult education charity WEA and the University of Oxford to launch the Adult Education 100 campaign to boost adult learning. “Adult education enhances people’s lives,” he said at the time. “It helps in acquiring skills for work and everyday life, building self-confidence, and improving or maintaining health and wellbeing.”

Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK said:

This is a well-deserved award. Nigel clearly cared about building a better world for everyone. He worked tirelessly to create opportunities and a level playing field for all – through his activity in Newcastle and with the Co-operative College.

Being honoured with this award feels like a fitting tribute to the valuable contribution Nigel made to the co-operative movement.

Simon Parkinson, CEO, The WEA said:

Nigel’s influence on many was profound and this award is well-deserved. He was a pleasure to work with at the Co-operative College, a role model for all trustees on striking the right balance between support and challenge.  Nigel was instrumental in my decision to accept the role at the WEA.  Nigel was passionate about both organisations and the added bonus for me was that it meant I could carry on working with Nigel particularly around his important work on sustainability issues and community projects to tackle climate change.  I am proud to call Nigel a friend and mentor.

Catherine Douglas, Managing Director, SME at The Co-operative Bank commented:

The Co-operative Bank is delighted to be supporting The Co-op of the Year Awards once again and it’s inspirational stories like Nigel’s that make us even more committed to supporting co-operative businesses.

Read more about the instrumental work on adult education that Nigel played a key role in below.

Read more