person in blue crew neck t-shirt holding white plastic bag

Political organisations face a massive challenge in the upcoming May elections, with Covid restrictions limiting the ways in which candidates and activists can connect to their communities.

This is the same for us at the Norfolk Co-operative Party, where we have candidates standing in Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Local members have responded to this challenge by diverting funding from traditional campaigning into the Norfolk Co-operative Fund. This has made funding available to Co-op activists for Covid restriction-friendly activities that bring benefit to our county.

Applications so far from Labour and Co-op candidates have been wide-ranging, and have included Christmas hampers as part of the Food Justice campaign in Norwich North, a Covid restriction-friendly treasure hunt around Thetford for families, set-up costs for a new foodbank in South East Norwich and a community event to ‘reclaim the space’ in Central Norwich for when lockdown ends.

We also wanted to use this fund to bring together the different co-operative activists in the county by involving credit unions, the Woodcraft Folk and other co-operative societies.

At the heart of this fund and its applications are co-operative values and principals, including a support of Co-operative Party campaigns. Through this we have been able to, and continue to, support and connect with our local communities at a time when this has seemed so difficult.