Cash windfall for 136 good causes as part of Co-op’s giveaway

Central England Co-op handed out more than £170,000 to 136 charities and good causes.

St Anne's Church in Chasetown
St Anne's Church in Chasetown

Groups can apply for between £100 to £5,000 every two months as part of the organisation's Community Dividend Fund.

Those benefitting include St Anne’s Church in Chasetown, which received £2,098 to help with the creation of a community garden. It will be used to buy tools, seeds, plants and a greenhouse and will also help to get an outdoor drop in cafe going.

Warley Baptist Church was given £1,500 to help pay for food and essentials to help create hot meals and food parcels for families in need and I Love Dudley received £1,000 to help with work to support distributing food to people in need.

Lichfield Talking News for the Blind got £1,000 to help pay for specialist equipment such as alarms to keep blind people safe in their homes and West Midlands Powerchair Regional League also got £1,000 to help hire an additional court to cope with demand and Covid-19 related restrictions.

Streethay Primary School got £940 to help develop a garden and forest school.

And 6th Lichfield Scouts has been given £1,000 to improve its headquarters as it expands with a new Squirrels group for younger children. Group member Charles Trivett said: “There has been a lot of investment to prepare our headquarters for Squirrels. This grant has enabled us to complete a full health and safety check for Squirrels, provide a proper storage cupboard to store all their fun activity materials and get suitable storage boxes for all the craft equipment.”

Dudley for the Love of Scrubs has been given £1,175 to pay for a range of materials to create vital items for people in need from NHS staff to victims of abuse.

Lisa Maidment, founder and leader, said: “It is an exciting time for us, as we have taken the step to become a fully-fledged charity. The generous funding supplied to us by Central England Co-op will allow us to furnish our first premises with equipment we need to enable us to continue to provide our community with the handmade-with-love items we are becoming well-known for.”

In Stafford, the Katherine Allport Foundation got £2,000 to fund the creation of 20 care hampers filled with essentials for those who are starting cancer treatment.

Scott Allport said: “We are delighted that The Katherine Allport Foundation has received a generous donation of £2,000 from Central England Coop.

“It has enabled us to keep saying ‘yes’ when we receive a request to provide a free chemotherapy hamper to someone starting cancer treatment.

“Charities such as ours are relying on generous donations from organisations such as Central England Co-op and we are thankful that time and time again, they step up and support the local community.”

YMCA Sutton Coldfield got £4,720 to revamp its specialist facilities ready for when it can provide vital support for disadvantaged young people post pandemic.

Jim Watts, secretary of the Lichfield-based Co-operative Society, said: “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.

“Our relaunched fund aligns with our new society purpose to create a sustainable society for all and we are delighted to share these funds with these amazing groups and cannot wait to see how they use it to benefit their local community.

“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 find out the full criteria and how to apply for funding by visiting centralengland.coop/community.

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