The Co-operative Group is introducing a ‘community pioneer’ in each of its stores as part of its new strategy to be the hub of local communities.

In addition to their usual in-store roles, community pioneers will be responsible for “fostering a strong involvement in community activity and developing a distinctive community connection,” a Co-op Group spokesman said. Their activities will include volunteering and fundraising.

Earlier this month, CEO Richard Pennycook released further details of The Co-op Group’s new strategy - ‘championing a better way of doing business for you and your community’ - originally announced at its annual general meeting in May.

As part of that strategy, the society pledged to take a “leadership position to support the empowerment of communities on issues that are relevant to our members and our business activity, where we can make a tangible difference.”

The Co-op Group spokesman added: “As a community retailer, The Co-op is committed to playing an active role in local life with colleagues embracing an area’s community spirit and the new format stores acting as a hub for the local community.”