Funding boost from Co-op community fund

Central England Co-op has handed out £3,584 to three charities and good causes in Leicestershire as part of its 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 £20,000 handed out to 19 groups across 16 counties.

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.

The Haven, based in Ashby, will use £1,284 to pay for rent to ensure its vital counselling service can continue.

Joan Simpson, clerk to the trustees, said: “This funding will enable us to continue assisting clients who need counselling during these difficult times. We’d like to thank Central England Co-operative for their generosity.”

The Bridge Homelessness to Hope has been given £1,800 to buy basic furniture and items for people sleeping rough.

David Fawcett, Operations Manager at The Bridge Homelessness to Hope, said: “The homeless community in Leicester is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic lockdown. Funding from the likes of Central England Co-op is vital in helping us to continue to support those vulnerable rough sleepers with essential food services, mentoring, wellbeing, and physical and mental health treatment.”

Braunstone Firth Recreation Centre will use £500 to buy vital food to support its food bank.

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/

Simon Gribbon