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At The Co-operative we encourage new ideas to tackle issues that are important to our members – from helping the community to changing the world. Membership is open to everyone as long as they share our values and principles. Our members show these values by working together for everyone’s benefit, and are encouraged to play a full part in the community.Here are our underlying values and principles which influence The Co-operative Membership and the way we run all of our businesses:
Self-help – we help people to help themselvesSelf-responsibility – we take responsibility for, and answer to our actionsDemocracy – we give our members a say in the way we run our businessesEquality – no matter how much money a member invests in their share account, they still have one voteEquity – we carry out our business in a way that is fair and unbiasedSolidarity – we share interests and common purposes with our members and other co-operatives.
Openness – nobody’s perfect, and we won’t hide it when we’re notHonesty – we are honest about what we do and the way we do itSocial responsibility – we encourage people to take responsibility for their own community, and work together to improve itCaring for others – we regularly fund charities and local community groups from the profits of our businesses.
Voluntary and open membership – membership is open to everyoneDemocratic member control – all members have an equal voice in making policies and electing representativesMember economic participation – all profits are controlled democratically by members and for their benefitAutonomy and independence – co-operatives are always independent, even when they enter into agreements with the Government and other organisationsEducation, training and information – co-operatives educate and develop their members as well as their staffCo-operation amongst co-operatives – co-operatives work together with other co‑operatives to strengthen the co-operative movement as a wholeConcern for community – co-operatives also work to improve and develop the community, both locally and internationally.