The Co-operative Pharmacy and UNICEF UK scoops award for partnership

May 30, 2013

The Co-operative Pharmacy and UNICEF UK, have been honoured at this year’s Business Charity Awards for their pioneering charity partnership work, improving sanitation in Togo, rural West Africa.  

The business scooped best Overseas Project at London’s Grosvenor House recently, for its work with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, to implement a community-led total sanitation project in Togo. The project is helping to promote hygiene, improve sanitation and reduce water-borne diseases within communities in the West African country.*

The partnership was launched in early 2010 and has already helped over 105,000 people including 54,000 children in 421 villages. The Co-operative Pharmacy has pledged more than £500,000 since the partnership’s inception through fundraising, sales of its antibacterial handwash and a corporate donation, and has now committed to extending its three year partnership for a further two years.

The renewal of the partnership, which will now last until the end of 2014, will benefit up to 72,000 additional people living in 289 villages in Togo.  The Co-operative Pharmacy is committing £100,000 to UNICEF for 2013 and staff fundraising efforts in 2014 will be dedicated to the project in Togo.  The extension of the relationship will mean up to 177,500 people in 710 villages will now receive support to build more than 13,000 latrines. 

Managing Director of The Co-operative Pharmacy, John Nuttall, said: “We are extremely proud to win this award as we chose to support this project because the West African country of Togo is among the worst countries in the world in terms of sanitation. By supporting UNICEF’s educational workshops, which introduce simple yet effective solutions, we can make a huge difference.   

“Unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene claims the lives of one million children under the age of five every year.  Poor sanitation not only causes illness but it can also lead to children, especially girls missing out on school, and in many cases it leads to death.”

UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull, said; “We’re delighted that as we extend our partnership with The Co-operative Pharmacy, the work that the partnership has achieved so far in Togo has been recognised by the Business Charity Awards.  Investing in the wellbeing of children is one of the surest ways to tackle global poverty and by partnering with The Co-operative Pharmacy we are able to do even more for the world’s children.

“Proper sanitation facilities are vital to children’s survival, it’s not about comfort or privacy. It is a life and death issue. Sadly billions of people around the world currently do not have access to the most basic toilets or sanitation support. But with the support or partners like The Co-operative Pharmacy we can help change this and save vulnerable children’s lives around the world.”

Jackie Crombie, Foundation Manager of the Greggs Foundation, and Charity Business Award judge, said: "The success is demonstrated by the fact the partnership was extended for two more years.”
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The Co-operative’s ethical plan

The Co-operative launched its Ethical Plan in February 2011 with the aim of being clearly recognised as the UK’s most socially responsible business. The Plan is annually revised and comprises of c.50 targets covering eight focal areas including protecting the environment, keeping communities thriving and supporting co-operatives. The Ethical Plan can be viewed at

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

*About the UNICEF sanitation project in Togo:

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Togo, published for the period 2009-2011, 68% of families do not have access to or do not use latrines.  In order to promote basic sanitation and reduce water-borne diseases in Togo, the UNICEF project, supported by The Co-operative Pharmacy, will introduce the Community Led Total Sanitation (CTLS) approach, encouraging communities and schools to examine their own state in terms of hygiene and sanitation, their practices in terms of defecation and management of their school environment. The approach is designed to mobilise communities into reaching and maintaining an ‘open defecation free’ status in 390 villages in the Savanes, Kara and Maritime regions of Togo.


UNICEF is the leading organisation for innovative business partnerships that transform children’s lives while delivering business benefit. UNICEF works with businesses like the Co-operative Pharmacy to create systematic change for children across the globe.

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere.

UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child.

UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit

Contact Information:

Alex Wilson
The Co-operative Group
Senior Public Relations Officer
07540 641368

For information about UNICEF contact:
Rowena Campbell
0207 375 6206