Thirty groups in Leicestershire share over £50,000 in 2019 thanks to the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund
Thirty groups, good causes and charities across Leicestershire shared £50,075 during 2019 thanks to a donation from Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund.
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, 114 organisations spread out across 16 counties shared a funding pot of £177,885
In Leicestershire, the projects awarded funding included:
- A total of £5,000 has been handed to St Matthews Big Local to help the community hub completely rebuild its toilets to help more than 2,000 residents and 200 volunteers who use the building all year round.
- Leicester Transport Heritage Trust will use £1,000 to fund a special project to support people with dementia. The project will see the creation of special memory boxes in the shape of buses and packed full of memorabilia.
- Farndon Fields Primary School, in Market Harborough, will use a maximum grant of £5,000 to completely transform its outdoor space. The work will see the creation of mud kitchens, den making areas, a sensory garden and an allotment for children to grow their own vegetables.
- Disabled youngsters in Whitwick will soon be able to enjoy a brand new specialist piece of play equipment. The Woodstock in Whitwick Group has been handed £5,000 to buy the equipment as an attempt to make several parks in the area accessible to more people.
- Fosse Primary School, in Balfour Street, Leicester, has been awarded £5,000 to pay for a new kitchen for parents and their children to cook in.
- A total of £4,000 will pay for a greenhouse and chicken coop at Meadowside Primary School, in Market Harborough, to encourage children to learn more about growing food and the outdoors.
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.
Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are handed out every three months to a wide range of applicants.
Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, said: “We have handed out £177,885 to projects in our communities in 2019 – with £50,075 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, which will make the local area 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 during the coming 12 months.”
People can apply for funding by visiting https://communities.centralengland.coop/
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Groups from across Leicestershire celebrate being awarded grants from Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund in 2019.
Below is a full breakdown of all the grants awarded in the area and quotes from some of the groups:
A total of £5,000 has been handed to St Matthews Big Local to help the community hub completely rebuild its toilets to help more than 2,000 residents and 200 volunteers who use the building all year round.
Simon Johnson, Charity Manager, said: “Without this financial support, as a small charity, we would not have been able to achieve this within our existing funds.
“Our toilets facilities are used by the young, elderly and members of our community with limited mobility. With this kind of support the facilities will be fit for purpose for many years to come.”
Leicester Transport Heritage Trust will use £1,000 to fund a special project to support people with dementia. The project will see the creation of special memory boxes in the shape of buses and packed full of memorabilia.
These will then be taken around hospitals, care homes and memory cafes to help people battling with dementia remember Leicester’s rich road transport heritage.
Mike Greenwood, Director of Archives and Research at the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust, said: “This is wonderful news. We are very grateful to the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund for their grant which will be really helpful in our quest to help improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia in our local community.”
Waterloo Community Garden, in Market Harborough, works with schools to show how to grow and harvest food.
It will use £2,765 to pay for various items from new gates to benches to help ensure the project continues throughout 2019 and beyond.
Vista works with over 12,500 children and adults impacted by sight loss across Leicestershire. It produces a range of publications in audio format so people can listen at home. A grant of £3,460 will now be used to produce and distribute the Leicester Mercury to subscribers for the next 12 months.
Sibbertoft Reading Room, in Market Harborough, has been awarded over £2,000 to pay for the replacement of vital heaters.
Saffron Athletics Club will use £1,600 to pay for vital new equipment sourced from America to help improve standards for its members.
Shepshed Volunteer Centre has been handed £1,650 to pay for supplies to support its wellbeing garden.
The 42nd Leicester (Glenfield) Scout Group will have a brand new car park created thanks to a grant of £1,000.
Great Glen Hedgehog Preservation Group has been handed £250 to pay for a new gazebo that will allow the group to showcase its efforts to raise awareness about hedgehogs and their needs.
The 8th Leicester Brownies will spend £100 on new resources that will provide all members with a new book that will help them take part in a range of different activities and gain several new skills.
Farndon Fields Primary School, in Market Harborough, will use a maximum grant of £5,000 to completely transform its outdoor space. The work will see the creation of mud kitchens, den making areas, a sensory garden and an allotment for children to grow their own vegetables.
Eyres Monsall Club for Young People will be able to buy new equipment thanks to a £2,000 award.
Louise Wylie, centre manager, said: “We are delighted to receive a grant from the Community Dividend Fund for £2,000.
“This much needed grant will help pay for equipment for our community projects namely our parents group, and will help buy new toys for the children to play with.”
ArtReach Trust will spend £1,350 on training and food as part of a bid to teach people from a wide array of countries about different food and how to cook them.
Nicola Middler, from ArtReach Trust, said: “Working in collaboration with Soft Touch Arts, we will use the grant to provide cookery workshops, led by members of the refugee and asylum seeking community, which will enable people in Leicester to explore and share their diverse culture through food and to connect with different communities. It will really make a difference and we can't wait to get started.”
Woodstone Community Primary School, in Coalville, will buy a heated food trolley for £710 as part of an ongoing effort by the school to make meal times more sociable and stress free.
Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland has been awarded £274.95 to buy a new cordless drill to support the Rutland Shed project. This allows elderly people to come together to pursue practical interests, share tools and knowledge and work together.
Rothley Community Library is aiming to encourage the love of reading across the area will the launch of a brand new scheme.
A grant of £1,040 will be used to create a series of community book boxes that will be situated everyway from village parks to pubs.
The wooden and water proof boxes will be filled with books for all ages in an effort to attract more people to read and then visit the library, in Mountsorrel Lane.
Sue Barnes, from the library, said: “Our aim with this project is to introduce families to the library by setting up 10 community book boxes in each of the local village parks, village centre and local public houses. “
Disabled youngsters in Whitwick will soon be able to enjoy a brand new specialist piece of play equipment. The Woodstock in Whitwick Group has been handed £5,000 to buy the equipment as an attempt to make several parks in the area accessible to more people.
Stokeswood Allotment Society has been handed £500 to buy a new freezer to reduce running costs and to improve its ability to cook for more events.
Lenny Moule, from the society, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to Central England Co-operative for their continued support in helping to improve our community.”
A total of £800 has been donated to Aylestone Football Club to pay for a brand new kit and footballs.
Lutterworth Community Allotment will spend £600 to pay for a new tool store and poly-tunnel after moving to a new site and in an effort to try and attract young families to volunteer and learn about healthy eating.
Penny Trethewey, from the community allotment, said: “We can’t wait to go shopping and install all the new items at the plot.”
A total of £1,000 will be spent by Broom Leys Primary School, in Coalville, as part of an ambitious project to revitalise a pond to teach youngsters more about the outdoors.
Hayley Barnard, deputy head teacher, said: “Over the past few years, the school's gardening club has become extremely popular; the addition of a new potting shed will allow children to grow plants and bulbs year-round.”
Everything from new cooking equipment to camping fridges will now be available to 2nd Kibworth Guides following a grant of £550.
Fosse Primary School, in Balfour Street, Leicester, has been awarded £5,000 to pay for a new kitchen for parents and their children to cook in.
It is hoped the new cooking area will allow families from deprived backgrounds, as well as different cultures and ethnicities, to come together to learn more about producing healthy and affordable meals.
A total of £4,000 will pay for a greenhouse and chicken coop at Meadowside Primary School, in Market Harborough, to encourage children to learn more about growing food and the outdoors.
Bookworms visiting Ibstock Community Library were left jumping for joy after the Melbourne Road facility was handed £1,000 to pay for a range of new books that cater for people with dyslexia.
The Broughton Astley branch of the Royal British Legion will have a new £1,000 gazebo thanks to the Community Dividend Fund to help raise funds for the Poppy Appeal in the local area.
Chris Shuter, Branch Chairman, said: “The funds will be used towards the purchase of a gazebo for use at local shows and fundraising events in the Broughton Astley area.
“With the procurement of these items we will be able to greatly enhance our fundraising capability to the benefit of our servicemen and women and their families as well as our great veterans living locally.”
Market Harborough Academy will improve its outdoor area with a shed thanks to a £1,000 grant.
Ellistown Football Club will use £900 to fund new play equipment to keep youngsters entertained while their siblings take to the pitch.
Desford Good Neighbours will used £150 to support people in need across the community with tasks ranging from getting to appointments to form filling.
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 2019.
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 member 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.
For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative
Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390