It is our favourite time of year again, Co-operatives Fortnight! This year it is running from 19th June until the 2nd July, and thanks to Co-operatives UK, we have the opportunity to share stories of how co-operatives are changing people’s lives and communities.

Since the dawn of time people have co-operated to build community wealth, from the Romans to the Zuni Indians of New Mexico to the Fenwick Weavers and the Rochdale Pioneers. Co-operation between people has led to fair work, fair pay and fair trade, the values and principles remain as relevant today as they ever have.

People, and the communities they live in, have been left devastated by years of austerity and neglect by poor leadership and mismanagement. The need for the co-operative model is abundantly clear and in recent years through the Covid pandemic, we witnessed people coming together and co-operating to help their friends and neighbours. The problem is that not many know what they are doing is co-operation.

That is why Co-operatives Fortnight is so important. It is a chance to show people what co-operation is and why it is an altogether better way of doing business. As Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives in the Scottish Parliament I submitted a motion to celebrate the co-ops across the UK that are doing just this; changing lives, changing communities and creating a better, more equal future.