We can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of 102 groups and charities – by donating £155,000 from our Community Dividend Fund in 2020.
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.
This year also saw the fund given an overhaul in the light of the ongoing pandemic in an effort to distribute funds quicker and to ensure it was supporting good causes impacted by Covid-19.
Grants were handed out to good causes in Birmingham, Stafford, Lichfield, Burton, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, Northants, Nottingham, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.
Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, said: “We have handed out £155,000 to projects in our communities in 2020.
“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.
“This year, 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 responded to some of the most worrying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to have been able to support these amazing causes and help them make a difference in our communities.
“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.”
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/