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Working in partnership

 

The Charity that loves Co-operationAdrian Roper, Rosemary Butler, Jean-pierre Guierald, David Smith

The word 'co-operation' has two meanings.  On day to day basis, it means doing things together with others.  This meaning is similar to 'collaboration' and 'partnership'.  Cartrefi Cymru has always been committed to this sort of co-operation, and we are proud of our track record of partnerships with local authorities, housing associations, other charities, and community groups.  We believe in the Welsh Government's policies which promote collaboration, rather than competition, as the right way to deliver better public services even in these times of financial pressure.

 

This sort of co-operation is based on seven internationally agreed principles, as follows;

1. Voluntary and Open Membership - Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsbilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.  (So no one can place you in a care co-op.  You have to choose to join).

 

2.  Democratic Member Control - Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled for and by their members - for example, people who produce or buy or use the services of the co-operative - who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. (So the decisions about your care and support are not made by faceless bureaucrats or shareholders, but by people you have elected or can challenge as a voting member).

 

3.  Members' Economic Participation - Members contribute to, and democratically control, the capital of the co-operative.  (So you are not the helpless recipient of someone else's largesse, but a contributor, and potentially a significant contributor).

 

4.  Autonomy and Independence - Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help
organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements
with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so
based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the
co-operative's autonomy. (So your care and support is more protected against
changes you don't agree with).

 

5.  Education, Training and Information - Co-operatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operative. Members also
inform the general public about the nature and benefits of co-operatives. (So
you as a user of your own care co-op can expect training too).

 

6.  Co-operation among Co-operatives - Co-operatives serve their members most
effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together
through local, national, regional and international structures. (So your care
co-op is not alone, but part of a network of co-ops with shared values,
potentially shared resources, and an interest in each other's success).

 

7. Concern for Community - While focusing on member needs, co-operatives
work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and
programmes accepted by the members. (So your co-op is outward looking, and
seeking to support not just you as an individual member, but also the wider
community in which you live).

 

If you would like to know more about Cartrefi Cymru's co-operative journey, or to
join one of the Social Co-op Development Forums which we have helped to set up,
please email us at:

 

coop@cartrefi.org or cydweith@cartrefi.org

 

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