Eleven groups in Cambridgeshire share £11,750 in 2018 to boost community projects

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of 11 groups and charities in Cambridgeshire – by donating £11,750 from its Community Dividend Fund in 2018.

A diverse range of projects were handed a funding boost during the past 12 months, with the largest single amount given being £5,000.

In total, 152 organisations spread out across 16 counties shared a funding pot of £187,000.

In Cambridgeshire, a  community café based at Beyond the Wall, a day service for people with disabilities in Eye, was handed £2,110 to support the project.

Sharlene Budd, finance officer, said: “Beyond the Wall is a charitable project based at the Thornham Estate's Walled Garden. The charity works primarily with people between aged 16 to 60 with mixed disabilities.

“Our aim is to unlock future opportunities in mainstream education, sheltered volunteering or employment by providing a working environment for people to gain real work skills, improve their basic skills and gain self-confidence.

“The community café will be a great benefit to our clients. It will give them the opportunity to work in the café, taking orders, serving food, handling money and social interaction with the community.”

Highfield Littleport Academy caters for youngsters aged two to 19 with severe and complex needs and will use £2,000 to fund new science equipment.

Yvonne Skillern, Head Teacher, said: “The grant has made a huge difference to our students here at Highfield Littleport.

“Having specialist science equipment will mean that our students will be able to access science teaching and learning which would not normally be available in a special school setting.

“It will mean we will be able to forge collaborative learning links with our co-located secondary school in order to maximise our students’ educational experiences." 

Everyone from schools and churches to support groups and volunteer organisations benefited from the fund that guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive from the Midlands to the East Coast.

Martyn Cheatle, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, said: “We have handed out £187,000 to projects in our communities in 2018 – with £11,750 of that being right here in  Cambridgeshire.

 “The Community Dividend Fund reflects a key principle of our society, in that we reward the loyalty of our customers by investing in and supporting local communities.

“The scheme helps to benefit a wide variety of projects, with grants between £100 to a £5,000, which will make the communities that we serve a better place for our members to live, work and visit.

“I would like to urge all of our members to get in touch and put forward a community cause close to their heart for the Community Dividend Fund scheme.”


Notes to editors


Picture caption: Awardees were all smiles after picking up their Community Dividend Fund cheques in 2018.


About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 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.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop


For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative


Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop