The oil cooperative

A member of the Allen Valleys Oil Buying Cooperative receives their oil delivery

 Denise Williams writes to tell us about the Oil Buying Cooperative:

“Every month, the volunteer-led Allen Valleys Oil Buying Cooperative invites its members to take advantage of savings on oil prices by ordering in bulk.  

Allen Valleys Oil Buying Cooperative was set up in 2011.  It has over 200 members, including residents, businesses and organisations in the local community.  The group focuses on purchasing heating oil (kerosene, generally used domestically to heat homes) and red diesel (used for agricultural and industrial purposes).  

Selling to a group in the local community means that the oil supplier is able to take the most effective and cost efficient route when delivering the oil.  Typically, members save themselves around 3p per litre (£30 on an order for 1,000 litres).   The group places an order once a month so members can take advantage of the savings as and when they need a fill up.  There is a minimum order of 500 litres.

The group can be contacted by email (, by phone (01434) 683334, through the Allen Valleys Community website, or via the Fawside Office at Allendale Village Hall., for which the usual opening hours are 10am to 12:30pm, Monday through Thursday. “

But Denise tells me that she handles enquiries on her iPad wherever it and she happen to be, as and when they come in (once she says on a small island off the coast of Sweden) so it seems to me that the volunteer effort is truly an attentive labour of love. And so, as is usually the case in matters of selfless care in the organising of a group, the whole community benefits. Thanks Denise for this informative piece!


  1. If you can plan ahead, and don’t need your heating oil immediately, this co-operative service certainly represents a great saving opportunity, to get the best price around for your oil. On the other hand, if you’re like me, and suddenly find yourself run out of oil in the middle of winter, you may want to help ensure that local companies like Alston Oil, who can deliver usually within a two day turn-around, and to places with challenging access, are crucial suppliers. You have to be prepared, in this eventuality, of course, to pay their rate. I’ve tried to support both entities, in various capacities over the years, which seems like a fair-minded approach.

  2. I was thinking about the cold and the wind last night, and all the houses I’d lived in with no central heating, no double glazing and it makes me appreciate living in a warm dry house. I then went onto thinking about rough sleepers and how awful it must be to sleep outside in this weather. I used to work with people in Byker who had been homeless and were giving tenancies in ” short life ” flats which were earmarked for clearance when the Wall was being built. Interesting job, which I’m sure you’d not be allowed to do on your own now as I was a recent graduate with limited life experience then. All of the residents had mental health issues with associated substance misuse which has had a great impact on me.

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