Forty Four groups in Leicestershire share nearly £54,000 to boost community projects

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of XX groups and charities in Leicestershire – by donating nearly £54,000 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 Leicestershire, over £4,500 was handed to Fairshare East Midlands to pay for an industrial chiller and chiller boxes.

This payout will support a project that aims to provide over 2,000 youngsters living in poverty with food.

Simone Connolly, Fairshare Project Manager, said: “The funds received from Central England Co-Op will enable FareShare East Midlands to increase chilled food storage capacity at our premises in Narborough, Leicestershire.  

“This means that we can respond to increases of surplus chilled food from the food industry which will then allow us to support more breakfast and school holiday clubs in our region with a very low cost food solution.”  

Market Harborough Home-Start South used £2,960 to buy a large HD screen and speakers to support the creation of a special facility to work with parents and young children who are facing challenging circumstances.

Lutterworth Garage Barn was handed over £2,000 to support a project called ‘seed to plate’, which aims to teach children from challenging backgrounds or with learning difficulties and their families about how to grow fruit and veg and how to cook it healthily.

Dina Hooton, from the project, said: “Our not-for-profit business is delighted with the support from Central England Co-op to enable us to purchase a poly tunnel which will be used for our much needed Seed to Plate project, working with local families to teach them how to harvest fresh fruit and veg, cook healthy meals together, with the help of a local professional chef, and unite them as a family.” 

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 £54,000 of that being right here in Leicestershire.

 “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 or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


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