We are a team of interpreters and we developed a plan that aims to improve the grim reality interpreting community is faced with. We believe this can be done if we set up a UK-wide platform co-operative. A brand new type of a business that operates to benefit people instead of exploiting them for profit.
Our project has been supported by The Hive programme from Co-operatives UK, the main trade organisation for the British co-ops sector.
Hundreds of language practitioners from across the UK have also signed up to follow our progress and support us. And that support is vital, because what we are trying to do hasn't been tried too many times before. We know it is a big challenge. But if we succeed, it will be of service to our entire professional community.
Our plan is made up of three parts. With the help of experts, we researched and devised each one. The first element is a digital platform. We reviewed available tech solutions and then decided which ones we will use and what we must develop. The platform is a means to our primary goal: enabling clients to reach qualified interpreters directly. It will be there to facilitate this exchange, not to stand between.Read more...
Next, we needed to work out a business plan that is underpinned by a sound business model. One that makes the platform profitable, but also lets us deliver the best value for money. We believe there is a model we could implement that should satisfy service buyers, service users, and interpreters alike. Because the platform can only operate effectively if it attracts and provides benefits to all its user groups.Read more...
Finally, we had to decide what legal and organisational forms would be most appropriate for our business. We chose to incorporate as a co-operative society. Therefore, no major decision in our co-op can be made without the democratic consent of all members. Our users will have a say in how the platform is run. And profits will be at the service of the people. Never the other way around.Read more...
Platform co-ops all over the world collaborate and share advice with each other. They are increasingly the subject of academic research, because they contribute to a fairer and more inclusive economy wherever they are created. We want to be part of this movement.
In the UK, we stay in touch two other projects comparable to ours: Equal Care Coop - for care workers; and Signalise Coop - for sign language interpreters. We established links with with the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, which is a US-based intellectual and organisational hub for platform co-ops globally. Our project has also been included in a study on platform co-ops in Europe carried out at Utrecht University.
If you are an interpreter, you can register by clicking the button below. You will then be able to receive newsletters with progress updates about our project. Registration is also the first step to receive job offers through our platform in the future. Please check our access criteria first. Only qualified interpreters with work experience will be able to use the platform, or become members of the co-op.
Look out for the #contribute tag. We'll use it whenever we need your help. We may ask for a donation, your input, or to do something on our behalf. You can also share and like our posts on social media to help us reach more people. And if you would like to volunteer and work with us at the founding team, read this to find out what support we need. You can always contact us by email: