UP CLOSE: Falmouth Co-op Member Pioneer Lesley Perkins

Falmouth Nub News aims to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs, and sports groups. We will be profiling some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a
feature called Up Close in Falmouth.

Lesley Perkins is the Member Pioneer for the Falmouth Co-op and started in the role in 2018.

What is a Member Pioneer? They can be Co-op colleagues or Members of the community. They create local action plans that mean Co-op can provide support at a local level.

They work very closely with the Local Community Fund recipients which are Local Causes that are supported by the local Co-op Members. They can be charities, local community groups or food

Lesley spoke to Falmouth Nub News in December, but is now back to catch up with us about the work that has been going on over the last few months.

“It has been a frustrating few months because of COVID,” she said.

“The last year has meant many opportunities to reach out to the community have primarily been achieved online.

“Our causes have continued to offer support to those who need extra help and they have championed their passion and determination to assist others during the pandemic.”

Lesley has been working closely with Love Falmouth, which has provided Fairtrade items of food for local families and individuals in need, The Dracaena Centre, and Carnon Carers.

Lesley provided advice and support when these Local Causes applied for the Local Community Fund, and helped to generate ideas about fundraising possibilities.

At the Dracaena Centre, she has supported them to become a successful Foodshare partner with the Co-op.

Lesley is working closely with Carnon Carers, the information and benefits of the Co-op membership were well received by the group, also assisting in their application for the Local Community Fund.

“I feel it’s important in my role to highlight such values when we promote and support the Co-op and its membership. Our causes and partners work with us to this end,” Lesley commented.

Speaking about her role as a Member Pioneer, Lesley told Nub News:

"I spent 40 years working in both the public and the private sector, in health and social care. I ended that career to become a full-time carer, working with people who have dementia.

"In terms of the link between my background and this role, I have always been interested in community initiatives and how I can support and collaborate with the community.

"I have always been a Member of the Co-op so I have always been aware of what they do. I saw there was a role advertised locally, the opportunity to help the Co-op and the community, that is what attracted me to the post."

Asked what she likes most about the job, Lesley said:

"The job is very public-facing. I also like the values and the opportunity to put those values into practice. The values are working together, fairness, and meeting people.”

Lesley has also been busy working on Co-operate, an online community centre for people who care about their community and want to get things done.

She added: “I have been busy promoting this resource as a means of searching local initiatives, finding synergies with other causes and working together where possible, and locating useful tools of practical help.”

You can contact Lesley at: [email protected]

If you've got any ideas on how Co-op could help your community or want to know what Co-op is doing near you then contact the Co-op Member Pioneer Co-ordinator for your area, who will then put you in touch with your local Member Pioneer.

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