Community Co-operatives

Rescue Earth System

Community Co-operatives are at the core of getting communities involved in building community resilience, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Community Co-operatives

Solving Social and Environmental Challenges

We are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges. Community Co-operatives are at the core of getting communities involved in building community resilience on a local and bio-regional scale.

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What are Community Co-operatives?

Community Co-operatives are businesses which trade primarily for the benefit of their community. Controlled by the community themselves, they have open and voluntary membership and, crucially, they encourage people to get involved – either by becoming a member, or by volunteering time or getting involved in another way.

By encouraging widespread involvement from their local community members, community co-ops play a really important role in helping to overcome issues like social isolation and loneliness, which can be prevalent, particularly in rural areas

.Community co-operatives are set up on a one member, one vote basis, rather than one share, one vote. This is important because it means that all members have an equal say in how the co-operative is run, regardless of how many shares they’ve bought or how much money they’ve invested. In this way, they are truly democratic forms of business.

People choose to set up community co-ops for a variety of reasons, from safeguarding local services which may be under threat of closure, like the village shop or local pub, to wanting to establish a new service that meets the needs of local people. In all cases, the result is usually a thriving local hub of activity which meets a broad range of social needs.

There are now hundreds of community co-ops thriving all over the U.K. One example is the co-operatively owned George and Dragon pub in Hudswell, North Yorkshire, which recently won the coveted 2017 CAMRA Pub of the Year Award – a brilliant example of a local becoming so much more than a pub.

Around 200 people came together when the pub closed nine years ago and reopened it as a co-operative, recognizing that if they were going to save one of the only community spaces left in the area, they’d have to do it themselves. Today it’s a busy community hub that contains the village library, a community shop and community allotments, and the pub caters to both locals and visitors alike.

Recently celebrating its 15th birthday is Dalwood Community Shop in Devon. The shop is entirely manned by 45 volunteers and is open 363 days per year. It’s one of 31 such community shops in the county, all of which are safeguarding these vital village services and making a real difference to the lives of people who live there.

Feeding the Community with Abundant Urban Farming – Together We Grow (Full Documentary)

Together We Grow tells the inspiring story of a thriving hub helping to build resilience into its local community by growing food in urban backyards, sewing with recycled materials, repairing bikes – you name it, Common Unity is doing it!

“This beautiful film is the perfect antidote to the cynical narrative that says people are inherently selfish… This film will melt your heart. Guaranteed.”
– Rob Hopkins, author; co-founder Transition Network

Too many of our communities, here and around the world, are facing housing crises, food insecurity, social isolation, and more. In addition, the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic and climate change are current and ongoing. How can we most effectively confront these challenges, and help our communities thrive in an economic system that leaves many feeling trapped in poverty?

Founder Julia Milne and her team have created a completely replicable model for developing strong, connected, resilient communities – a model that could be put in place across thousands of communities in Aotearoa and millions of communities across the world. They’ve proven it can be done, this film was made to help them share the story.

Across the planet — a small but growing movement of farmers is foregoing traditional farm ownership in favor of a cooperative model.