One hundred and fifty two groups share over £187,000 thank to Co-op community fund

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of 152 groups and charities – by donating £187,000 from its Community Dividend Fund in 2018.

A diverse range of projects picked from across 16 counties were handed a funding boost during the past 12 months, with the largest single amount given being £5,000.

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.

 “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.”

The diverse nature of the projects which the Community Dividend Fund supports can be seen in the difference between two of the recipients – Fairshare East Midlands, in Leicester, and Broxtowe Womens Project, in Nottingham.

Over £4,500 was 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: “Increasing our capacity will allow us to reach more of these children who are vulnerable and hungry.”

Broxtowe Womens Project, which is a domestic abuse charity in Nottingham, was handed £1,650 to pay for new laptops.

The new devices allow the vital organisation to work in the community when helping women and children impacted by domestic abuse, thus increasing the amount of time that they can spend with them.

Sarah Dagley, Business and Fundraising Manager at Broxtowe Womens Project, said: “We werethrilled to receive the funding from the Community Dividend Fund.

“For small charities like Broxtowe Women’s Project this type of funding is invaluable and has enabled us to support women and children affected by domestic abuse.”

People can apply for funding by heading online to


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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