Report reveals that every £1 Co-op spends in Birmingham is worth £23.15 in community impact

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that every £1 it spends on good causes is worth an incredible £23.15 in positive community impact across Birmingham.

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) report takes an in-depth look at the impact of the Society’s community work in 2017 and focuses on the social value and return provided by the Society’s Co-operative Masterclasses, Membership and Community Council grants, Healthy Choices and Ethical Challenges Workshops, the installation of 300 defibrillators and a food and farming event.

The results showcased that for every £1 that the Society invests in community projects, the monetary value of the impact made is on average worth a massive £23.15.

The findings from the report, which was undertaken by SROI specialist ‘Make an Impact CIC’, will now play a major part in shaping the future of the Society.

In 2016, Central England Co-op was the first co-operative of its type to publish an SROI report and its overall figure then was £20.50 for every £1 spent on selected community projects.

Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative Martyn Cheatle said: “This amazing figure of £23.15 of impact for every £1 spent, truly showcases how the Society continues to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“This is the second time we have undertaken a robust analysis of our community impact and the SROI report continues to be great indicator of not just how we are doing but also helping us plan for the future.

“However, all of these great community projects are only possible due to the continued support and success of our trading businesses.

“Our ongoing commitment to support fantastic work in the community is underpinned by the strong financial performance of the Society and a long-term strategy to grow the business in a sustainable way.”

This report focuses on the difference these projects make to people, society, the environment and the wider community.

Co-operative Masterclasses are aimed at secondary school children and are based around educating them about co-operatives.

Membership and Community Council grants are handed out to local groups who want to make a difference, with a total of 48 grants worth over £32,000 handed out in 2017.

The Healthy Choices and Ethical Challenge Workshops are delivered in schools to educate students around making healthier food choices and to educate them about Fairtrade.  A total of 3,829 youngsters took part last year.

The Society’s defibrillator project has resulted in the installation of over 300 of the lifesaving devices outside of food stores and funeral homes. This was paid for via funds raised through the 5p carrier bag levy.

The Food and Farming event aimed to educate students about food, farming and the countryside in Peterborough.

The results of SROI report will now be used to help make effective, data driven decisions, to ensure relevant community impact will involve making the best use of the resources available, and to look at what possible social value could be achieved through new, innovative projects.

The projects highlighted in the report have helped Central England Co-op support the communities it trades in to the tune of over £2.2 million.

The publication of the SROI comes after the Society was praised for its work based around community, environment, marketplace and workplace by being awarded five stars out of five in the Business in the Community’s 2018 Corporate Responsibility Index.


Notes to editors

Picture caption: Central England Co-op Chief Executive Martyn Cheatle

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth / Heather Clapton at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


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