Scotmid Co-operative President Harry Cairney was invited to talk about our Society at Scottish Parliament on Wednesday evening in the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives event as part of Co-operatives Fortnight 2018.
Speakers at the event included Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, James Kelly MSP, John Nevin from Greencity Wholefoods and Paul Farrell from West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op.
Harry was invited to shine the spotlight on the role Scotmid plays in our trading areas in Scotland – serving local communities and helping to improve people’s everyday lives.
Harry said: “For over a century-and-a-half, Scotmid Co-operative has been at the forefront of co-operation in Scotland and next year we will celebrate our 160th anniversary.
“As a Society we actively engage and participate in the wider cooperative movement and we are supporters of Coops UK.
“As a co-operative, we are owned by our members across our trading area. Our members democratically elect me and other Board members to oversee the management team that run the Society on a day to day basis.
“Any surplus funds that are not reinvested into the businesses go to the communities we serve, rather than to institutional investors. That has enabled us to support charities and local good cause groups with extensive funding
“Our Community Grant programme continues to grow in importance and popularity – last year over 1,000 local community groups applied and were awarded a grant of up to £500 and these projects range from Primary Schools’ breakfast clubs to communal garden renovations.
“Every Community Grant makes a positive difference – re-affirming our role as a co-operative operating at the heart of the communities we serve.
“We’ve also recently introduced a new initiative called Community Connect which enables our members to vote for good cause groups in their region.
“In addition to supporting our local communities, our members, customers and staff also fundraise for charity. Over the past three years, Scotmid has provided over £1 million to our Charity of the Year partners – Anthony Nolan, Alzheimer Scotland and the NSPCC’s Childline.
“The story of co-operation in Scotland continues from the first-ever President of St Cuthbert’s, John Borrowman in 1859 all the way through to me in 2018 – staying true to those same values and principles and working hand-in-hand with the communities we serve.”
Image (left to right): Scotmid Deputy Secretary Shirley MacGillivray, Scotmid President Harry Cairney, James Kelly MSP and Convenor of Cross Party Group on Co-operatives, John Nevin of Greencity Wholefoods, West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op Director Paul Farrell, Clare Haughey MSP, Co-ops UK General Secretary Ed Mayo and Johann Lamont MSP.