Our Principles

Our Co-op shares the seven cooperative principles:

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership. Membership of our Co-op is open to anyone who volunteers regularly at the Project over the age of 16. No-one is forced into joining, and no-one will be excluded because of discrimination. All volunteers are provided with meaningful information about membership and how to join.

2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control. We are a democratic organisation, controlled by our members who set the ultimate direction of the Project. All members are expected to participate in transparent, fair decision-making. We also recognise that effective decision-making sometimes means delegating authority to individuals or groups to act on behalf of the collective; any members serving as elected representatives are accountable to the wider membership.

3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative.

4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence. We are independent, accountable only to our members. We do not make agreements or contracts that would compromise our autonomy and we actively plan to avoid becoming over dependent on any funder, supplier or customer.

5th Principle: Education, Training and Information. We focus on development and learning for our members and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of our co-op. We recognise people have different but equally valuable skills and experience. We actively encourage, motivate and reward these different skills - and seek to uncover untapped talent in the Project. We encourage experimentation as this is where creativity and innovation flourishes. We also provide education and information to the general public to inform them about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives. In order to serve our members most effectively and strengthen the co-op movement, we work together with co-ops in Bristol and beyond, sharing intelligence, trading, referring business and engaging in partnerships.

7th Principle: Concern for Community. We are rooted in, and work for the sustainable development of, our community.

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