Members of Middleton Co-operating, and those we choose to work with, are committed to some key principles. These are of central importance to us. We want everything we do to be collaborative and supportive – not exploitative in any way of the people and organisations we interact with, nor of the environment we share. As a co-operative organisation we are committed to the principles of the co-operative movement, and our focus on community wealth building takes us beyond these co-operative principles in ways that it is important to spell out. And when we use the term “wealth”, we don’t use it in its usual sense of abundant resources but, more importantly, in terms of the well-being of everyone in our community, young and old.
These principles will inform our work. It’s not an exclusive list.
We commit to:
- a healthy work/life balance for all, with fair employment practices, a living wage, increased employment opportunities for local people, safe working environments, and support for trade unions and other forms of worker organisation;
- work with urgency and imagination towards achievement of a zero-carbon economy/society, and improvements in air quality across the town;
- ensure affordable access to what we see as the basic requirements for all – food, clothing, housing, utilities, furniture, care, transport, communications, shared public space, creative arts, friendship, learning and advice;
- encourage artistic and cultural expression;
- help to safeguard people from violence, aggression, intimidation and abuse;
- promote opportunities for play and learning, skills development, training and mentoring;
- share resources, skills and expertise freely in the spirit of mutual support;
- co-operate with individuals and organisations who share our principles – across our Borough, Greater Manchester, the North West, and beyond;
- recognise that all interactions are personal, including organisational and business interactions, and to treat all people with respect in all our communication and actions;
- be responsible stewards of those resources, equipment, land and buildings that we come to either rent, lease or own as shared community assets.
One of our key principles is to recognise that every interaction is a personal interaction, and we want our engagement to be more personal than organisational. Personal connection matters. This isn’t simply about bureaucratic change - it is much more fundamental. When people talk about “Middleton Co-operating”, or see our logo in various places around the town, we want them to feel a sense of ownership and belonging – to recognise it as something that has a positive impact in their lives and to identify themselves as active agents and participants in our work.