The Co-operative appoints ground breaking young members’ board

August 09, 2013

Young people from across the UK have the chance to contribute ideas and innovation at the highest level of The Co-operative Group after it unveiled its ground breaking Young Members’ Board.

The 15-strong board, all young members of The Co-operative aged between 16-25, will meet eight times a year and work alongside co-operative colleagues on specific projects and strategies set by the Group Board.

In a move designed to recognise and harness the inspirational contribution young people have to make, the board will challenge and inspire change for future generations while exploring new ways to engage and involve young people.

It will present its findings and views directly to The Co-operative’s Group Board and senior managers.

Ed Moss, 25, from Manchester - Chair of the inaugural Co-operative Young Members’ Board, said: “I have been a member of The Co-operative for a number of years and to be able to get involved with the business in this way is really very exciting. Everyone in the Group seems so excited to work with us as a board and to hear our thoughts on how business can help address the real needs of younger people today and how we can better engage young people in community life; local decision making and service delivery.”

James Walker, 16, from Gateshead – the youngest member of the board, added: “When I found out I had been appointed I was over the moon, extremely ecstatic and thrilled. I am looking forward to meeting new people, to the challenges ahead and, to having a great time too!”

At his first meeting with the board members, The Co-operative’s Group Chief Executive, Euan Sutherland, said: “Often when we talk about inspiring young people we mean how the older generation can help younger people but I believe these board members have the enthusiasm and drive for co-operation which will act as an inspiration to us all.

“The Young Members’ Board will provide these young people with real responsibilities and opportunities to gain new skills, knowledge and experience. I have asked them to look at all aspects of our businesses from product innovation through to business development and to report back to me and my other senior managers.”

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551