The Bear Co-op tries to put its money where its mouth is, & is involved in a number if initiatives to help communities at home and abroad.

In April 2005,based on evidence from the Calderdale Credit Union on the crippling effects of excessive doorstep debt,,the Bear created a loan fund of £18k, administerd by the local credit union, to help Todmorden families , struggling to make the repayments, renegotiate their loans to a level that the families could afford.

Further work is going on with the credit union to make others aware of this crisis and help more families escape this poverty trap.
We have links with a small charity, Volunteers for mental health in Romania, and one of our members regularly travels there to work with women, many of whom have been institutionalised all their life. In Romania,she offers hands on support and counselling in the most challenging of environments and in this country works to raise money to support the charity.

We are currently exploring how the Bear could develop a micro-finance scheme in Musoma, Tanzania, to help families invest in small items of equipment or livestock to earn money to support themselves and their families.

We are members of the Todmorden Station Partnership, working to improve the profile and condition of this important gateway to our town.