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Eleven good causes share £21,000 funding boost thanks to our community fund

· Eleven charities and community groups share out £21,000 in funding from our Community Dividend Fund

· We have allocated the grants to provide a short-term bursts to projects and organisations impacted by Covid-19

· Groups in the following areas have been supported: Huddersfield, Lichfield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Peterborough, Leicestershire, Burton and Stafford

We have handed out £21,000 to 11 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.

Normally, grants from the fund are handed out four times a year to a wide range of organisations but, during the coming 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: Huddersfield, Lichfield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Peterborough, Leicestershire, Burton and Stafford.

Burton

· Community Cans - £500 – to help people struggling to feed their families access food

Leicestershire

· Think FC - £2,000 – to help support a project to boost the mental health of the local community

o Deana Wildgoose, from the group, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding. It will be used to support Central England Co-op providing Think tools and resources to support people to stay positive, take control and make better decisions! We appreciate it's a really tough time for people, and this is made worse by the unfair distribution of wealth, power and resources. There are so many people and communities without the networks, assets or self-belief to get what they need. Our mission is to level the playing field - these tools might just help that to happen. Like Central England we believe in purpose before profit. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to sharing with your team.”

· The Well - £2,000 – to buy equipment and goods to support efforts to help people less fortunate locally

Cambridgeshire

· Peterborough Elderly Christmas Shoebox Appeal - £500 – to help fill shoeboxes with vital food and essentials

· Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre – £2,200 – to pay for equipment and materials to be COVID-19 secure

o   Emma Cameron, who is Manager of the Huntingdon Together Shop of Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre, said: “Brilliant news! This is just the essential funding we need for Covid-19 packaging to bag up our food donations.”

Yorkshire

· Just Movement – £2,120 – to buy new technology to take chair-based Zumba for the elderly online during the pandemic

o Anne Little, from the group, said: “The grant will be used to help us develop our online chair Zumba programme designed for older adults and those with impaired movement. The overall aim of the programme is to keep those at risk of losing independence physically and socially active particularly at this difficult time. We’re working hard to develop our online chair Zumba programme and the money you have given us will really help by enabling us to purchase the equipment and expertise needed to get our members moving and meeting one another online.”

Nottinghamshire

· Beeston Community Resource - £4,000 – to pay the salaries of two workers who help people with mental health issues

· Good Companions - £1,600 - to help buy tablets for those isolated during the pandemic to keep in touch with others

o   Clare Ashton, Chairman of Good Companions Management Committee, said: “We were delighted and very grateful to receive funding for 16 computer tablets and cases. Many of our older and vulnerable service users are not computer literate; and don’t have access to the internet and even those who are digitally able, don’t always have access to a computer device at home. This creates digital exclusion leading to further isolation and loneliness, particularly at this difficult time. The generous support and funding will enable Good Companions to offer more service users the opportunity to interact with other group members and friends via social media and the internet, which we hope will make a significant difference to their mental and physical well-being.”

West Midlands

· Quinborne Community Association - £1,500 – to help buy tablets for those isolated during the pandemic to keep in touch with others

Stafford

· Katherine House Hospice - £2,000 – to help buy equipment to ensure its life-changing work continues

o Kelly Day, Trust Fundraiser at Katharine House Hospice, said: “We are very grateful to the Co-op Community Dividend Fund for their kind donation of £2,000. This donation will be used to fund some vital equipment for our patients to ensure they remain as comfortable and pain free as possible.”

Lichfield

· MHA Communities Lichfield District - £2,820 – to fund support for a range of activities and equipment to help people in need or isolated locally

o   Caroline Bruno, Live at Home Scheme Manager, said: “The funding will help support at risk older people to remain safe and shielded during the Covid-19 pandemic by paying for resources and expenses associated with providing practical support such as shopping, deliveries and emergency food parcels. We will also be providing a number of other services which focus on reducing social isolation and helping older people remain engaged including activity packs, online groups and activities and a Book, DVD and Jigsaw loan service."

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/

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