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Interactive Fifth Principle Toolkits for co-operatives

Are you looking for interactive and creative educational resources to help you deliver engaging training sessions, presentations or workshops about co-operatives? Then why not join the growing number of co-operative organisations which are using the College’s 5th Principle Toolkit, a hands-on resource for co-operative educators. Bristol co-operative Academy Cotham School is also using the Toolkit, as its broad scope is ideal for co-operative schools. It provides many activities perfect for staff training and the workshops in the pack are also ideal for running as educational activities with students.

Toolkit training session in East TimorSeveral of the major co-operative societies in the UK, including Lincolnshire, Midcounties and Chelmsford Star, are now among the organisations to have purchased the resource for use with members, employees, and for outreach activities. A taster session was held for co-operative societies at the Co-operative Group’s headquarters in Manchester in November, where participants were able to try out some of the activities from the toolkit.

The toolkit also has international appeal and has been reaching audiences across the world, including in East Timor, where the Fairtrade Association of Australia and New Zealand has been using the toolkit with farmers (picture on the left) and South Korea, where it is being used by a large consumer co-operative. The toolkit is also now on the shelves of the University of Alberta in Canada.

The 5th Principle Toolkit, which is made up of six individual activity packs, is based on the fifth co operative principle of Education, Training and Information, and aims to educate as many people as possible about co operatives, whether they are members, employed staff or people in the wider community.

Toolkit coversThe six units in the series are:

• What is a Co-operative?
Defines what a co-operative is, provides examples of different kinds of co-operatives from around the world and explores the history of the co-operative movement, from 1844 to the present day.
• Values and Principles
Outlines the ICA’s co-operative values and principles and offers a range of interactive games and activities, case studies and discussion sessions to explore them in detail.
• Membership Engagement
Provides a variety of activities that help participants to explore the nature of
co-operative membership and the ways in which co-operatives can attract new members as well as engage existing ones.
• Good Governance
Encourages participants to explore the challenging concept of co-operative governance by looking at examples of good and bad practice, analysing codes of governance and rulebooks and learning from the values and principles.
• Roles and Responsibilities of Directors
Focuses on the role of co-operative directors and explores their responsibilities and duties within the wider democratic structure of their co-operative.
• Monitoring Co-operative Performance
Considers how co-operatives can best measure, report and respond to their performance, whether it be financial, social or environmental performance.

Each unit costs £150, giving access to up to thirty-five activities of varying styles and levels, making the Toolkit suitable for you to use in training and education sessions no matter what level of knowledge and experience you are working with.

Inside each pack is:

  1. A Facilitator’s guide with instructions and guidance on all activities.
  2. Interactive group activities and resources.
  3. Individual writing activities for participants.
  4. A disk with a short animated film and extra PDF copies of all the provided content.

For more information click here,  contact Ruth Holtom, the College’s Youth Projects and Co-operative Learning Coordinator, at ruth@co-op.ac.uk or on 0161 819 3013.

Activities and resources in the pack

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