UP CLOSE: Congleton Co-op Member Pioneer Alison Wright



Congleton Nub News aims to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups. 

We caught up with Alison Wright, the Co-op Member Pioneer for Congleton. Member Pioneers bring together its members, colleagues and Local Causes to help its communities. 

Although Alison is employed part-time by the Co-op, she is not based in a store, but instead works from home.

She is linked to both the Food store and Funeralcare home in Congleton. Alison is one of 1,000 Co-op Member Pioneers, named after the founding members of the Co-op, the Rochdale Pioneers. 

Member Pioneers make great things happen and make communities a better place to work, play, live and learn.

They can put you in touch with like-minded people, as well as offering practical advice and help, especially with fundraising. 

When customers buy selected Co-op products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes into their membership account – customers can save these, spend them or donate them with no cost.

The Co-op will then split the same amount raised between like-minded organisations and local causes. 

Alison is working to support three Local Causes, who this year are Astbury Mere Country Park, Congleton Town Football Club and Mentell, which aims create a safe and reliable online space for men to open up and talk during Covid-19.

Alison has also continued to support the Storehouse Foodbank, a Foodshare Partner, with food donations from the local Co-ops, and also to promote the use of Co-operate, the online go-to-guide for local groups and charities. 

Alison has used the Wellbeing Index to help local groups apply to be a Local Cause, as it clearly identifies where there are needs in our communities.

The Wellbeing Index gives an insight into what’s important to people in a local community. From the quality of education, housing affordability and public transport to the amount of green space and the number of community centres in any area. 

The Co-op have gathered data for over 28,000 communities across the UK, to understand how they score across these and many other wellbeing areas. 

When asked what the best part of being a Member Pioneer has been, Alison said: “By far this has to be meeting and talking to people to learn more about what they love about their communities."  

As for what skills are required to be a great Member Pioneer, Alison concluded: “I think you have to be a great communicator, and an even better listener. You need to be fair and consistent with a great understanding of volunteering.

"Prioritising your time effectively is a key skill, especially when the Co-op role is four hours a week.” 

If any Congleton residents have any ideas on how the Co-op could help our community, contact Alison on 07929837259 or on email at [email protected] 

If you've got any ideas on how Co-op could help your community, or want to know what Co-op is doing near you then contact the Co-op Member Pioneer Co-ordinator for your area, who will then put you in touch your local Member Pioneer. 


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