Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society was established in 1867 with the intention of meeting the needs of its members and sharing its profits with them. Nowadays the Society’s Mission has evolved to work together giving life and meaning to the Co-operative difference by trading ethically in order to share our success and serve, support and sustain local communities.
Membership is at the heart of any Co-operative and the Society’s membership activities reflect this. The Society cares and supports its community, with various initiatives including; the award winning Community Card scheme, helping over 200 Essex based groups raise quarterly enhanced community dividend payments; supporting and promoting an Essex based charity each year, since 2006 over £120,000 has been raised; supporting Harvest for the Hungry since day one in 1999; providing regular bereavement groups, bringing together the recently bereaved and volunteers to help deal with the loss of a loved one; uniting communities at regular coffee clubs.
The Society supports local communities by educating, training and providing information to its members via schemes such as; ‘Launchpad’ mentoring members who are out of work and are looking, developing and enhancing their CV’s and skills; providing community workshops aimed to educate Community Card groups; supporting Co-operative Streets a campaign to help the local communities become better neighbours; interacting and teaching local Co-operative Trust Schools on initiatives such as Fairtrade workshops, Young Enterprise, Food and Farming Events and supporting services such as Holdfast Credit Union within the school; creation of the Society’s first Youth Council, increasing youth members’ voices, participation, interaction and involvement within the Society.
The Society continues to meet the needs of its members and continues to seek new challenges and initiatives to increase and strengthen its trading and membership relationships within the local communities.