Membership activities and events

Our member trips are predominantly focused on visits to food producers across southern England. In order to make these trips more relevant and valuable for both Southern Co-op and members attending, these have become more geographically targeted.

Members will be invited to join trips relevant to where they live, to visit truly ‘local’ producers who supply our Local Flavours range within members’ surrounding area. This will enable members to meet the producers within their own community, see how products are made, gain a greater insight into Southern Co-op and understand the relationship between Southern Co-op and their local producer and importantly, be able to buy the products stocked in our stores local to them, thereby helping to sustain their local economy.

We will also be working with other partner organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts and Tuppenny Barn to develop member education sessions on sustainability subjects such as bees and wildlife friendly gardening. As our Love Your Neighbourhood programme develops, there may be more opportunities to find out about partner organisations, and these will be advertised when the information is available.

Please see our upcoming trips below, for availability and to book, email amysykes@southerncoops.co.uk.

Upcoming Events 2018

Bee Corner

The Oaks, PO9 5NA

Sunday 16th September

We will be running 3 sessions at 10am, 12pm and 2pm.

Guests are invited for a free tour of our very own apiaries under the direction of a professional bee keeper to get up close and personal with our bees. 

Beach Clean Volunteer Opportunity

Thursday 20th September, 10am-12pm, St Helen’s Beach, IOW

During Co-operatives Fortnight 2018 we celebrated the positive difference Southern Co-op colleagues and members can make by working together co-operatively at beach cleans across a number of our counties.

Given the success of these beach cleans, we’ve been working with the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust to offer a beach cleaning opportunity to our members on the Isle of Wight.

Fort Widley Tour with Pompey Pals

Friday 21st September, 10am-2pm, Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill Road

Southern Co-op is proud to support Pompey Pals, a local organisation which aims to commemorate all those men and women from the Portsmouth region who served in any capacity at home or overseas, during the Great War.

We’re giving our members an exclusive opportunity to visit the Pompey Pals Research & Heritage Centre which will include a unique behind the scenes tour of Fort Widley.

Sussex Ice Cream

Friday 28th September

Sussex Ice Cream Company, a supplier to Southern Co-op’s Local Flavours range, is offering members the opportunity to meet the owner, hear about how the company was created and what makes it so different from other brands. There will also be the chance to see the kitchen where the ice cream is handcrafted and of course, have a tasting session!

Pastry and dessert chef Dan began making ice cream for some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and now, four years on, he’s delighted that an ever-growing number of shops, cafes, restaurants, National Trust buildings and homes are enjoying his handcrafted ice cream and sorbets. Every scoop is handmade, without the help of machines, in small batches by just three chefs in their West Sussex kitchen.

Past Events 2018

Bee Corner

The Oaks, PO9 5NA

Sunday 22nd July

Sunday 26th August

Guests are invited for a free tour of our very own apiaries under the direction of a professional bee keeper to get up close and personal with our bees. 

Bat Experience, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Wednesday 4th July, Woods Hill, Henfield, Sussex

Members will have the opportunity to visit Sussex Wildlife Trusts Woods Mill headquarters to learn more about the amazing nocturnal world of the bat. They’ll learn all about these incredible creatures and be lead on a walk in the search for bats and listen for them using special bat detecting equipment.

Hepworth Brewery

Thursday 5th July, Pulborough, West Sussex

Members are invited on a tour of the brewery and see the production in full swing as well the opportunity to sample some of their delicious ales.

Jude’s Ice Cream

Tuesday 13th March, Winchester, Hampshire

Members were given the opportunity to  discover first hand how Jude’s operate and how their tasty products are made.  During the visit they saw the production area in action with full explanations of how it is used, and heard about Jude’s story and got the chance to try some of their delicious ice creams.

Montezuma’s

Tuesday 17th April, Birdham, West Sussex

Members were invited on  tour of the sensational Montezuma Chocolate factory in Birdham  to discover first hand how  the tasty chocolate is made. During the visit members had an insight into what machinery is used to make their chocolate, how it’s packed and dispatched and of course, a tasting session and the opportunity to make their very own bar.

Nightingale Evening, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Wednesday 25th April, Woods Hill, Henfield, Sussex

Guests headed out onto the reserve along with a representative from the Sussex Wildlife Trust as night falls to hear the nightingale’s famous song. Each year this tiny bird returns to Sussex from Africa to sing its wonderful song in the dead of night.