The Trust’s Sponsor

The Trust’s Sponsor

The Co-op dates back to 1844 and is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer with more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.

It is also:

  • the UK’s number 1 funeral services provider
  • a major general insurer
  • a growing legal services business

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives and employing nearly 70,000 people, it is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

So, the more successful the Co-op is, the more it can give back to you and your local community.

Education was one of the Co-op’s founding principles. The Rochdale pioneers as they became known were also committed to developing educational opportunities. From 1850 to 1855 a school for young people was established and more advanced classes were offered to adults and workers in Rochdale.

The development of education in co-operatives has continued ever since and it was in 2010 that the Co-op first got involved in the government’s flagship academies programme.

Since then, the Co-op Academies have grown and the relationship with the Co-op has got ever closer. In 2018 it was announced that the Co-op would ‘turbo charge’ its academies programme by investing £3.6m into the growth of the Trust.

During the Covid pandemic, the Group supported young people with over £2.7m worth of food vouchers for vulnerable students along with supplying three reusable facemasks for every student in the Trust and providing laptops for students who didn’t have devices to learn from home.