Celebrating co-operation at Co-operatives United
"People that can do stuff, rather than talk about doing stuff."
This is how one visitor to Co-operatives United described "a good co-operative" when asked. Others described a co-operative as unity, shared aims, responsibility in your community, mutual benefit - just some of the descriptions of a co-operative given to young Woodcraft Folk member David, who volunteered at this huge festival of co-operation. He gathered an inspiring range of views on co-operation and co-operatives, which you can listen to on this Soundcloud page.
Woodcraft Folk Young Reporters were well-represented at Co-operatives United, alongside Woodcraft volunteers running craft activities, parachute games, workshops to help co-operatives involve and empower young people - not to mention the odd flashmob, which added some singing and leaping around to even the most formal areas of the exhibition.
We befriended almost every co-operative represented at the event, and in our quest to find 'the most radical co-op' we could, decided the title had to go to a co-operative from Argentina, who weren't actually at the event because their government consider them too radical to be allowed to travel!
Overall, we're pleased to have made lots of new connections, strengthened relationships with Co-operative Societies who wanted to know more about how we work, introduced lots of new families to typical Woodcraft games (and their local Woodcraft groups!) and shared Woodcraft ideas and resources with many organisations who can make use of them to work more effectively with young people.
We're glad to have worked alongside, and have had the support of, The Co-operative Group, The Co-operative College and Co-operatives UK, all of which made the week particularly fun and successful for Woodcraft Folk.
Particular thanks should go to the Woodcraft Folk volunteers who gave so much time and enthusiasm to representing their favourite co-operative youth organisation!