Helston 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 Helston'.
Jo Lewis is the Member Pioneer for the Mullion Co-op and started in the role in March this year.
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 banks.
Jo spoke to Helston Nub News to tell us about her background and how she came into the position.
“The Co-op asks us to connect the community together to make a difference,” Jo said, briefly explaining her job role.
In her previous work, Jo was at St Austell Brewery for 10 years before switching to the Co-op and was consistently involved in fundraising and organising teams of people.
Her organisational and leadership skills were recognised by the manager of the Co-op store on Nansmellyon Road, who put her forward for the role of member pioneer.
In a fairly short space of time Jo has already been involved in a series of community projects, including work on Plant Britain, a project with all proceeds going to Mind with people popping into the Mullion and Rosudgeon Co-op stores, picking up seeds, and donating 50p.
Jo has even extended her workload to become a member pioneer for a second Co-op in Rosudgeon.
She has also been doing brilliant work with Mullion Guides, assisting with a grant application that enabled them to purchase four sets of outdoor cooking equipment for the guides to use.
There was a Million Mile Beach Clean for Surfers Against Sewage, taking 21 people around the village to clean up, ending with 10 bags of rubbish.
At her Co-op store in May, there was also a superhero dress-up weekend which raised £291 for Mind.
Switching attentions to local causes, Jo continued:
“Every year you have three local causes allocated to your store, the new causes will be chosen in September, at the moment they are Cornwall Air Ambulance, Mullion In Bloom and Mullion Football Club.
“The main thing we want to do is promote our members cards (costing £1 to be a member), you then sign yourself up to the membership card which you get money off from, but you also get to choose a local charity which you can put your money towards.
“Since last October, Cornwall Air Ambulance have been awarded £1,600, Mullion In Bloom have nearly £600, and the football club have just under £500. These figures might be different if there wasn’t a pandemic because we would be able to do a lot more to support them.”
Jo worked in Porthleven for 10 years and has lived in Mullion for nearly 28 years.
Working and living in the area for so long means she knows the community as well as anyone and has a deep connection to it, something which you can sense when talking about her role and the village.
“The best thing about being a member pioneer is meeting people and really getting back involved with the local community, it has been really great to get back into the Mullion community and get familiar with people again.
“People in the community feel I have done a lot to help them, I organised an Easter egg hunt for the local children. There was a young man doing some great fundraising work in the village, I managed to get him a day’s work experience with Michael Caines in his kitchen, and then he will sign one of his books for him.
What are the key components for being a good member pioneer? Jo believes that it is somebody who cares and listens to people within their town, she added:
“It is about listening to people in your community and wanting good things to happen for the community.
“In the role you get to work with the Co-op as well, which has been a superb experience so far.”
If you have anything you would like to speak to Jo about, you can contact her via email [email protected], or give her a ring on 07974 606782.
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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