Local causes and location

Charlotte King recently talked about the changes that we’ve made to make it easier for our members to select a local cause to support with their 1%. I’ve been looking at those local causes, what type they are and where they are in the United Kingdom.

Image showing the spread of local causes being helped by Co-op Members

This image is a scatter plot of those local causes that our Co-op Members are supporting when they buy products and services from us. 

This shows the relationship between the people who live in the UK and the Co-op. The Co-op is supporting local causes right across the nation so where there’s a community, there’s likely to be a good cause that our members are supporting.

What do the colours represent?

When a local cause applies to receive support, they’re asked to classify themselves into a category like ‘Health’ or ‘Environment’ and the colours above are distinct for each category.

I’d love to give you an interactive map where you can explore the data for yourselves but I can’t do that today so instead, I’ve done some exploring for you. 

This scatter plot below just has the categories Health (yellow) and Community Development (purple).

Image showing the spread of local causes being helped by Co-op Members

Both types are widely spread but something I noticed was that there seems to be a split between the urban centres of Greater London and Northern England. London appears to be more densely covered by Health causes whereas places like Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Leeds, Tyneside are more balanced with Community Development causes.

Here’s another plot, this time with Social Inclusion (black) and Young People (blue).

Image showing the spread of local causes being helped by Co-op Members

Social Inclusion causes seem relatively concentrated in certain areas of the country. These tend to be the main cities. Causes within the category of Young People are both numerous and well spread, there seems to be a nation wide concern for causes that will help the next generation. 

Don’t forget we’re looking for the next round of good causes to support in May 2017, the closing date for applications is 16th December.

Alex Waters
Data Science.

2 thoughts on “Local causes and location

  1. Niki Coutts November 18, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    I work in food logistics as the comms champion at the Newhouse depot. I would love to be able to use this idea to represent challenges at delivery points. Could you let me have any information on where to start? Thank you.


    • Alex W November 18, 2016 / 2:34 pm

      Hi Niki,

      The starting point is to have a set of data that has a geographic reference in it. For the above, I used Longitude – Latitude.

      Then depending on what you want to do, you can use various methods. Even Excel can do a bit of this as can free plugins to Google Sheets and some free websites.

      Feel free to email me if you need help – alex.waters@coopdigital.co.uk


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