Co-op community fund awards £16,500 cash boost to 11 groups across the East Midlands to ensure vital work continues to help those in need

Central England Co-op has shared out £16,598 between 11 good causes across the East Midlands to ensure they can continue their vital community work during the Coronavirus outbreak.

A wide range of charities and community organisations in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottingham and Northamptonshire were delighted to receive the funding boost during these uncertain times, with a total of £31,000 handed out to 22 groups across 16 counties from the retailer’s Community Dividend Fund.

The money will now be spent by charities and organisations to ensure that events, activities and support that otherwise might have been postponed or cancelled can still go ahead and provide a vital boost to the local community.

Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation, based in Bulwell, Nottingham, will spend £518 on catering equipment to support the elderly and people with disabilities to get access to vital food and essentials.

Steve Lack, from the Group, said: “The grant will enable us to start to deliver a new social eating project within one of our priority areas.

“This project will reach out to people who may be socially isolated, lonely or looking to increase their local social network and will provide a weekly activity that will bring local people together that uses food to draw people in but will have a focus on encouraging attendees to develop friendships.

“This activity will be held in a local community centre which is trying to develop more services aimed at vulnerable older people within the area.”

A total of £1,000 will be handed to Treetops Hospice, in Risley, Derbyshire, to pay for the creation of care packs for patients and their families which are made up of magazines, puzzle books, toiletries and cakes.

Wellbeing, Support and Information Manager Alison Hembrow said: “It is important to us that Treetops Hospice Care continues to stay in touch and support our patients during lockdown whilst our patients are shielding and unable to come into the wellbeing service.

“During these physically and psychologically difficult times we have been delivering cake and care packages with cake, treats, craft activities, puzzles, and toiletries to over 70 local patients. They are grateful to see a friendly face and a cheery smile while having a quick conversation from a distance

“Treetops Hospice Care is delighted to receive £1,000 funding from the Community Dividend Fund which means we will be able to continue to provide our Cake and Care packages for the coming weeks.”

A total of £1,400 will be used by Ratby Church rooms to varnish its floor to allow it to continue to host a wide variety of community groups from the local area.

Whetstone Juniors Football Club will spend £750 on new equipment and kit to support when team sports are allowed to resume.

John Wycliffe Primary School, in Lutterworth, will use £1,200 to buy iPads for pupils to support projects that take place outside of the classroom.

Sarah Read, from the school Parent Teacher Association, said: “We are over the moon and really appreciative to receive this grant, especially during these unprecedented times. It is fantastic to be able to support the school, which has remained open throughout lockdown and the staff, who have worked tirelessly to support the children in their education at home and at school.”

A total of £1,000 has been awarded to Fleckney Festival to pay for vital equipment for when the festival returns post COVID-19.

Equine rehabilitation facility The Way of the Horse, in Lutterworth, has been given £4,230 to buy new equipment to allow the team to continue their work remotely.

Greener Goscote will spend £500 to buy equipment that will allow it to continue spreading its measure of the importance of protecting the environment.

Leicester City of Sanctuary support refugees and asylum seekers in the area and will use £1,750 to buy sewing equipment as part of a project that teaches skills to help reduce anxiety.

Northampton Saints Foundation will use £3,000 to pay for equipment to allow its Engage programme – designed to boost youngsters’ confidence and self esteem – to grow into a second building due to its ongoing success forming the creation of a new hub for the community.

Head of Foundation Jordan Letts said: “Support such as this is critical for our expansion and support of vulnerable young people within our community.

“The pandemic has created an additional need for our work, thanks to this grant we are able to provide that service.”

Weekley Rovers Football Club will use £750 to buy new kit for its teams to be ready when local sport resumes.

Rosliston Astronomy Group will use £1,000 for brand new telescopes to support its work at its observatory, which the retailer also helped fund, at Rosliston Forestry Centre.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Now more than ever being a co-operative business that sits at the heart of our communities is so important.

“We are delighted that these great projects and good causes have been handed a grant that will allow them to continue their fantastic work in the community at this uncertain time.

“Community Dividend Fund grants like this showcase how by being a member and shopping at your local Central England Co-op store allows us as a Society to continue to invest and fund vital projects in the area.”


Notes to editors

Picture caption: Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund has shared out £31,000 to good causes to help ease the impact of the Coronavirus.

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

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