Fri 3 Apr 2020

Resources and advice during the COVID emergency

SWS Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts) Public Seen by 129

A place to post links and info that may be useful for worker coops


craigm Sat 10 Apr 2021

stuck a little cash in. i've shared on our twitter, good luck.


Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Fri 9 Apr 2021

Hello all, picking up this old thread and it seemed the most relevent to post in...

I'm Martyn, a founder member of The Bradford Co-operative Association and the Bread + Roses.
We re-open our co-operative cafe, workspace, and community venue on Monday, and we need help.

We are raising money through Crowdfunder, and are half way through our initial £2,500 target, which will release a £5k pledge from Power to Change. If you can support it with a donation that would be amazing! Our rewards may appeal to other cooperators and coops too...

We're also looking for local volunteers to help us run our cafe and wider governance of our cooperative. As a volunteer you will get a free lunch, free coffee, free co-working, and you will also be eligible for trial membership.Find out more here: https://thebreadandroses.coop/get-involved/

Any help or support would be greatly received :)


Dhara (Sail Boat Project) Thu 11 Feb 2021

Just flagging up Bounceback loans and we are applying at Sail Boat Project, the deadline is 31st March when they close. When they first came out we avoided but now it makes more sense.


They are over a six year term, interest free for the first 12 months and also no repayments for the first 12 months. So five years of repayments. Interest is at 2.5%, much lower than when I first heard about them. You can borrow up to 25% of your turnover, so about £20,000 for us. You hear back within two days and they are available to apply to until the end of March. Even if you were to pay it all back before the end of the first 12 months (there is no early repayment penalty) that would be 12 months interest-free money. I worked out £20,000 loan would be a repayment of £330 per month over five years (years 2-6)


John Atherton Tue 19 May 2020

Out of the 800 or so CUK members around 200 were eligible for this funding. Some of our members we can all agree clearly are not eligible but there is a grey area in the middle. Although disappointing a lot of worker co-ops find it hard to pass the community ownership/benefit element of p2C definition of community business, i do understand P2C position.

They had huge demand and nowhere near money, and to their credit have turned this around very quickly for a funder, so had to put in cut-offs for this. P2C also have their own strict criteria for how this money can be spent (I think it derives from lottery funding, so has to meet certain charitable purposes).

I know this is frustrating and it could be clearer around the definition. We continue to be in conversation with p2c about this long term and I would be happy to help some of these worker co-ops build a case for why they should be eligible for funding as community businesses.


Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Mon 18 May 2020

Just picked this up with @John Atherton who explained how the list of "eligible" coops was picked by Power to Change without hearing. Both John and I agreed that the definition of "community business" needs to be clearer and a discussion with Power to Change needs to be had why some coops like Bread + Roses Bradford and Regather Sheffield qualify by their definition, and yet others like Ceramics London and Space4 London do not; and moreover, how they could be developed to do so! Probably the start of another discussion. Hope this helps.


Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Mon 18 May 2020

Hello again everyone,

It has just been pointed out to me that the link to the application is unique to your organisation. From conversations with two coops I know it appears as though there has been an oversight that has precluded them. I'm hoping to raise the issue with CoopsUK/PtC and will post again.



Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Mon 18 May 2020

For anyone considering applying for Power to Change Emergency grant, here is the link to the eligibility checker that opens tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10am.

If you are lucky enough to be one of the first 100 people through the eligibility checker, then you access the application form and have 5 days to submit. You will need up-to-date management accounts and cashflow forecast as supporting evidence.

Here is a link to the eligibility checker questions (part 1) and application questions (part 2): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HMVlLrN3X1k7iqL67Smm6aLKqrmPW8sjDQCzE-1vR9A/edit?usp=sharing

To be eligible you must be a member of Coops UK, Locality or the Plunkett Foundation, or have been a recipient of Power to Change in the past. You must be trading and have had your trading impacted by COVID-19, and must be able to define yourself as a community business, see here.

Hope this helps :)


Steven Flower Thu 9 Apr 2020

Our colleagues at 360Giving are providing insights into the range of grants being made - very interesting in terms of small local actions: https://covidtracker.threesixtygiving.org/

This is updated daily - pulling in data from a wide range of grantmakers. If you know organisations that can add their data, it's easily done (through publishing spreadsheets)


Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Wed 8 Apr 2020

Some great online webinars in April, May, and June here:


and here:




Quite good broad advice on how to think about contracts messed up by the emergency