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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.

How the Co-op Support the Trust

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 'turbocharge' 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 face masks for every student in the Trust. And also providing laptops for students who didn’t have devices to learn from home.

The Co-op continues to support the Academies in different ways, in 2021 this relationship saw a collaboration between Kellogg's and the Academies, where the sales of cereal in Co-op stores funded breakfast clubs. 

This kind of support is ongoing, and this relationship ensures our students get some incredible opportunities.