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On my 60th birthday, I waved goodbye to full-time employment after deciding I wanted more time to pursue hobbies and interests - of which helping my community played a big part. I wanted to help make a positive impact on the community, but wasn’t sure if the type of role I wanted even existed, until I came across a Co-op Member Pioneer Co-ordinator role on Rest Less

The role was to recruit, develop and coordinate a team of Member Pioneers. To be the authentic voice in the community, increasing cooperation and participation with colleagues, members and local causes and to improve the local environment. All of the pioneers live in the areas they support, so have a clear understanding of how best to support their causes. 

The ideal role to make a community impact

As soon as I saw it, I felt like this was the role for me. I knew I could bring my current community knowledge and continue to make a difference in my career. I’ve spent my life working with various communities in a range of rewarding roles; working with people with disabilities, veterans, my local city council as well as various charities with the aim of supporting the members of those communities to achieve their goals. 

It was amazing to hear that my application had been successful. It has been a very steep learning curve but the support from Co-op and my colleagues has meant I’m finally beginning to feel I can make a difference.

The perfect work-life balance 

Being able to fit my work around my very busy life as a new grandma is wonderful. I have the flexibility to work when I want. It’s 18 hours a week and I still have time to fit in all of my other hobbies.

Leading positive change in the community

I strongly believe in the ethos of the Co-op and what we are achieving. As a Member Pioneer Co-ordinator, I support my team to make a difference, whether in a large or small community. We are now working on the three year community plan, Co-operate 2022, to save and support endangered spaces, improve mental and physical wellbeing and increase learning and training in our local communities. This is an ambitious program which will make a real difference in local people’s lives. I’m proud to help lead such a positive change in the community.

Sue French

Member Pioneer Co-ordinator

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