Co-op and the Co-op Foundation have joined forces to sign the #iwill Movement’s Power of Youth Charter and commit to giving young people real opportunities to shape future, fairer communities.
The retailer is working with young people to make a difference on the issues impacting the safety and fairness of communities and create fairer access to opportunities. Its charter commitments were signed by CEO, Shirine Khoury-Haq.
Meanwhile, its charity, the Co-op Foundation, has committed to giving diverse young people a voice in future funding decisions and driving positive change through campaigns informed by young people. CEO Nick Crofts has signed for the Foundation.
Both organisations are now encouraging other businesses, funders and charities to follow in their footsteps and sign the Power of Youth Charter, too.
The Power of Youth Charter is a UK-wide collaborative effort by businesses, charities and funders to recognise young people for their efforts, empower more young people to make a difference, and give young people opportunities to shape their future. It is co-ordinated by the #iwill Movement.
Shirine Khoury-Haq CEO at Co-op said: “The future is uncertain. The voices and actions of young people are essential to building better communities for the future.
“Our research* shows that as many as one third of young people feel the odds are now stacked against them for their future. This is why Co-op has signed the #PowerofYouth Charter. We are fully committed to working with young people to make a difference on the issues that matter most to them, whilst co-operating to create fairer communities and fairer access to opportunities.
“We encourage other businesses to join us in signing this charter empowering young people to make a positive difference.”
Nick Crofts, Chief Executive of the Co-op Foundation, said: “We believe all young people should be empowered to make a positive difference to the issues that affect their lives, their communities and broader society. This is how we’ll build communities of the future together that are fairer and more co-operative.”
Co-op is working hard to empower young people by giving them a voice in their community and the tools and skills to make a difference. In partnership with UK Youth, it has been growing the #iwill movement in Scotland and Northern Ireland, reaching more than 2,200 young people through social action.
In England and Wales, Co-op is proud to be part of the Peer Action Collective – a £5.2 million programme that aims to give young people the chance to make their communities safer, fairer places to live.
The Co-op Foundation’s commitments come one month after the launch of its ‘Building communities of the future together’ strategy, which was itself developed with young people. It is also delivering a £5m #iwill Fund empowering young people to use their lived experience of school transition, community spaces and bereavement to help their peers.