We have handed out £18,000 to 15 charities and good causes as part of our revamped Community Dividend Fund aimed at providing quick funding boosts to help those impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.
A wide range of charities and community organisations were delighted to receive the funding boost during these uncertain times, with a total of £18,000 handed out to 15 groups.
Normally, grants from the fund are handed out four times a year to a wide range of organisations but, during the next four months, it has been decided to hand grants out on a monthly basis to support those suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic and others looking to step in to help those affected.
Organisations in the following areas have benefitted from a grant: Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, West Midlands and Yorkshire.
Jim Watts, Society Secretary, said: “In response to the current crisis, we made some changes to our Community Dividend Fund scheme to provide immediate financial support for local good causes, community groups and charities who are responding to some of the most worrying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Community Dividend Fund grants 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 – especially during uncertain times like these.
“We are delighted to have been able to support these amazing causes and help them make a difference in our communities.”
To apply, members will need: name, address, membership number, organisation type, organisation bank account or constitution and to explain what the group does, how the grant will be spent and the specific impact it will have related to COVID-19.
People can find out the full criteria and how to apply for funding by visiting https://www.centralengland.coop/community/
Here is a full breakdown of good causes handed funding listed via county:
· Release Financial Charity - £2,000 – to help launch a money advice centre
· Chief Executive Paul Stears said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has and is affecting our communities in many ways and as things begin to normalise, there will be a financial tsunami, with people and their families/loved ones struggling with the skills and know-how to cope with lack of income. Release Financial Charity (Release) has linked with the proven debt advice model overseen by Community Money Advice to will set up a specialist Money Advice Centre. Thanks to funding received from the Central England Co-Op Dividend Fund, the RELEASE COMMUNITY MONEY ADVICE is now open and provides free, confidential and non-judgmental money/debt advice and support to people.”
· Grow Outside - £500 – to help supply packages to people who cannot get out and about in the local community
· Revive Healthy Living - £500 – to help create a Christmas project to support vulnerable people in Derwent, Breadsall and Chaddesden
Norfolk and Suffolk
· Loddon and District Co-operative Day Centre - £1,250 – to help pay for PPE materials for staff
o A spokesman for the centre said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded the Community Dividend Fund grant. We will be using this money to help us fund personal protective equipment for the day centre - it will be a key part of keeping our members safe and healthy as we tackle the challenges of COVID-19.”
· Snowy’s Nursery and Preschool - £1,890 – to pay for new equipment and a new floor
· Croft Good Neighbours - £500 – to help create food boxes packed with vital essentials for people in need locally
· Money Matters Leicester - £1,800 – to help support its vital debt advice service
Nina de Salis Young, centre manager, said: “This grant will help us to lift some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society out of the debt trap. We can now provide fresh food supermarket vouchers and provide each volunteer with a mobile to keep in touch with clients from home, and even to pay some insolvency fees of £90 for some clients who cannot possibly hope to repay their debts. This will give the chance to make a fresh start, and, with our budgeting help, to stay in charge of their finances.”
· Soft Touch Arts - £2,200 – to pay for equipment to ensure its community café can help people in need
· Wenlo Riding for the Disabled - £2,000 – to pay for new equipment
· COMPAS Charity - £1,000 – to pay for equipment to support those who are socially isolated
o Chief Executive Petr Torak said: “We are very grateful for the funding as it will enable us to continue working with children and young people that have been suffering during the pandemic. We are going to provide young people with activities promoting healthy and more active living, including dance classes, nutrition sessions, running classes and peer support in times of crises.”
· The Kite Trust - £500 – to support its work in the LGBTQ+ space among young people
· Growing Works - £2,000 – to pay for an outdoor shelter to allow people to continue to use the service
o A spokesman for the group said: “This funding will go towards a new brew shed at our allotment site helping us encourage people with support needs to gain the health benefits of outdoor therapy all year round. Through the colder months we still work outdoors but need to provide a sheltered warm space for people to take a break when they need to. We really appreciate the support of the Community Dividend Fund in helping to deliver this.”
· Positive Packages - £500 – to help create care packages for people with mental health issues
· Music for Everyone - £830 – to help with a pilot project to get more people interested in music
o Anne Jackson, from the group, said: “Music for Everyone is delighted to be a recipient of the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund. Their support will allow us to bring the life-enhancing benefits of music making to those who most need it at this difficult time.”
· Birmingham Friends of the Earth - £600 – to help buy equipment to ensure its effort to promote sustainability can continue