’The Co-operative Movement  Needs Women and Women Need the Co-operative Movement’

Sat, 1 Jul 2023 09:45 – 11:40 a.m. BST

Pat Juby: Co-ops & Mutuals Wales introduces ’The Co-operative Movement  Needs Women and Women Need the Co-operative Movement’

Session 1 – 10.00 – 10.45 a.m.

Speaker: Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative Ltd.

Debbie promotes co-operative values and principles in her role as Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, one of the largest UK co-operatives. As Vice-President of Euro Co-ops, she is a champion of sustainability and a pioneer for Fairtrade.

Chair: Mary Ann Brocklesby, Leader, Monmouthshire County Council

10.45 – 10.50 a.m Comfort break

Session 2 – 10.50 – 11.40 a.m.

’The Co-operative Movement  Needs Women & Women Need the Co-operative Movement’. We explore WHAT, WHY and HOW in a round table conversation with:

  • Mary Ann Brocklesby, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council
  • Ann Francis, Chief Executive, Cambrian Credit Union
  • Pat Juby, Co-ops & Mutuals Wales
  • Rose Marley, Chief Executive, Co-operatives UK
  • Anca Voinea, International Editor, Co-operative News
  • Bethan Webber, Chief Executive, Cwmpas

Facilitation: Cheryl Barrott, Vice chair, Co-operatives UK – with audience participation

Contact: info@cooperatives-wales.coop

Mae angen Menywod ar y Mudiad Cydweithredol ac mae angen y Mudiad Cydweithredol ar Fenywod. Menywod yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd, yn cefnogi ei gilydd. Gwerthoedd yn cael eu rhannu.

Pat Juby, Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru, sydd yn cyflwyno ‘Mae angen Menywod ar y Mudiad Cydweithredol ac mae angen y Mudiad Cydweithredol ar Fenywod’

Sesiwn 1 – 10.00 – 10.45 a.m.

Siaradwr: Debbie Robinson, Prif Weithredwr, Central England Co-operative Ltd.

Mae Debbie’n hybu gwerthoedd ac egwyddorion cydweithredol yn ei swydd fel Prif Weithredwr Central England Co-operative, un o’r cwmnïau cydweithredol mwyaf yn y DU. Mae hi hefyd yn bencampwraig cynaliadwyedd ac yn arloeswraig am Fasnach Deg yn ei rôl fel Is Lywydd Euro Co-ops.

Cadeirydd: Mary Ann Brocklesby, Arweinydd, Cyngor Sir Mynwy

10.45 – 10.50 a.m. Egwyl

Sesiwn 2 – 10.50 – 11.40 a.m.

‘Mae angen Menywod ar y Mudiad Cydweithredol ac mae angen y Mudiad Cydweithredol ar Fenywod’. Darganfyddwn BETH, PAM a SUT mewn trafodaeth ford gron gyda:

  • Mary Ann Brocklesby, Arweinydd, Cyngor Sir Mynwy
  • Ann Francis, Prif Weithredwr, Undeb Credyd Cambrian
  • Pat Juby, Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru
  • Rose Marley, Prif Weithredwr, Co-operatives UK
  • Anca Voinea, Golygydd Rhyngwladol, Co-operative News
  • Bethan Webber, Prif Weithredwr, Cwmpas

Hwylusydd: Cheryl Barrott, Is Gadeirydd, Co-operatives UK – gyda chyfraniadau gan y gynulleidfa


Debbie Robinson

Debbie is a passionate retailer with over 40 years’ experience working in the retail sector. She is a firm believer in co-operative ethics and values and was appointed as Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative in April 2019, one of the largest co-operatives in the UK. Debbie is also a Board member of the British Retail Consortium, Vice-President of Euro Coops and a member of the advisory panel at Diversity in Retail. Debbie was the UK Managing Director at SPAR and has also worked at The Co-operative Group, Marks and Spencer and W H Smith. Debbie was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for her outstanding contribution to business by the University of Birmingham in July 2022.

Mary Ann Brocklesbury

Mary Ann is the Leader of Monmouthshire County Council with more than 25-years gender, diversity, social development and governance experience in consultancy, management, training and research on the gender equity, poverty, rights-based and human development aspects of development. She is a trained coach and mentor working to get more inclusive, gender diverse leaders in development

Cheryl Barrott

Cheryl has a wealth of and diverse experience within the co-operative movement. Currently, she is vice chair of co-operatives UK, the leading Founder member of the Cooperative Guild for social and Community works and development of the Fair Care marque. She is also chair of the Sheffield Cooperative Development Group, was a founder member of Change agents, has been a director of the Co-operative. She has also been Vice Chair of the C-ooperative Party and Joint Chair of the Yorkshire and Humberside Party Council. From a family of cooperators she continues their tradition of passing on co-operative knowledge to future generations and is a tremendous advocate of co-operation in its broadest sense wherever she goes.

Ann Francis

Ann Francis is the CEO of Cambrian Credit Union, serving North and Mid Wales it is a not-for-profit organisation based on co-operative principles. Ann has been part of the Credit Union movement for over 20 years and is also part of the Steering Group for Credit Unions of Wales. Ann has a passion for helping the financially excluded, having recently gained a master’s in human resource management Ann is always looking for innovative ways of utilising her team and the wider Credit Union network to ensure that local communities can access fair financial services.

Pat Juby

In a variety of organisations, including Co-ops and Mutuals Wales, Pat has been a passionate about co-operative education and education about co-operatives. As an active co-operator, she has presented on the development of co-operation, Fair Trade and responsible businesses to schools and universities and has championed the potential way forward for a co-operative university. Pat has served as an elected member of two co-operative societies. Firstly, the West Midlands Area Committee of the Co-operative Group and secondly, several years as Chair of MidCounties Membership Strategy Committee (now the Member Engagement Committee). Recently, Pat has been involved with initiating both the Co-operative Guild of Social and Community Workers and the Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative (LLARC). Her current research interest is the symbiotic relationship between women and co-operatives through the decades.

Rose Marley

Rose joined Co-operatives UK as CEO in 2021 and immediately spearheaded the creation of an ambitious new strategy to grow the co-operative economy, with a focus on engaging younger generations and building a tech & digital infrastructure capable of co-op innovaton in the 21st century. Self employed from a young age Rose cut her teeeth in the music industry and was the founding COO of Manchester City Council developments The Sharp Project and Space Studios where she was a founding director of award winning social enterprise SharpFutures. This led Rose to becoming the Social Enterprise Advisor to the Greater Manchester Mayor. Rose is also chair of the International Co-operative Working Group.

Anca Voinea

Anca is the International Editor at Co-operative News, a print and online magazine about the co-operative sector. In this role Anca researches and writes stories, covering conferences and events and sourcing and interviewing professionals or political leaders. Anca focuses on international news – and with French, Spanish and Romanian languages under her belt, this is an important area of growth for the news. She is also a member of Co-operatives UK’s International Working Group and the editorial board of the journal published by the UK Society for Co-operative Studies.

Bethan Webber

Bethan is CEO of Cwmpas, a development agency working for positive economic and social change. Peviously CEO of a Wales based family support charity, and prior to that numerous policy and scrutiny roles. Passionate about social equality, community, & the importance of acting now for a positive future. Formerly co-Chair of the Women’s Equality Network Wales and Clerk to the Senedd Equality of Opportunity Community, and current member of the Welsh Government’s Gender Equality Forum.

Event theme: ‘The Co-operative Movement Needs Women & Women Need the Co-operative Movement’

This title originates from a leaflet by Hilda Smith (1919-2013) agitating for a Co-operative Women’s Organisation in Wales that was distributed at an International Co-operators Day event held in Machynlleth in 2012 UN Year of Co-operatives which she had been invited to address in her 93rd year.

Hilda, a socialist and feminst, believed attention should be given to promoting self help grassroots women’s organisations – working class women seeking practical solutions based upon co-operative values.

This call for action was based upon her 55 years experience at all levels of the Labour movement. It was a direct response to a ‘great and the good’ ‘Co-operative Womens Challenge’ conference to be held in Leeds , organised by The Co-operative Group ‘National Member Services’.


About David Smith

A lifelong co-operative activist. Former roles: Co-op Foundation Trustee; Co-op Group Main Board, Specialist Board & National Values & Principles Committee; Co-op Group Senate; Co-op Group Wales Regional Board, South Wales Area Committee. Public service includes Government Food Adviser; UK Healthcare Regulator. David directed the first EC funded Wales Anti-Poverty Programme; and pioneered co-operative & community initiatives: free legal services, community-based housing associations, care and repair, pre-school & adventure play, local Co-op Development Agencies, multipurpose Social Care Co-operatives. Founded: Cardiff Student Community Action, Welsh Food Alliance & Wales Progressive Co-operators. Board Member, Newport Credit Union; Robert Owen Memorial Museum Trustee. Former Lecturer, Gwent Tertiary College, Graduate Ruskin College, Oxford and UC Cardiff + PGCE, MA (European Human Resource Management) Keele; Professional Food & Management qualifications.
This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.