Jim Cooke, Head of Co-op Foundation with ex footballer Jon Barnes

The recent Co-op Property Charity and Awards Evening was a huge success, raising an incredible £190,000 for charity. The money will be split equally between the Rainbow Trust children’s charity and our own charity, Co-op Foundation.

The annual event is run by the Co-op Property team to raise money for good causes chosen by Property colleagues. This year, it was hosted by football legend John Barnes, who auctioned off some priceless memorabilia.

What £95,000 means to the Co-op Foundation

Through our Belong programme, the money will be given as grants to community projects that tackle youth loneliness. Current projects supported through Belong include:

  • The Royal Exchange Theatre’s work with young people at special educational needs schools in Greater Manchester for the Happy2Be festival
  • The Youth Co-operative Action group, at the Co-operative College, which brings care-leavers together to help each other make the challenging move to living independently

At the awards night, our guests heard about the impact these two projects have had on young people. We spoke about one young person, Hamza, who took part in a previous Belong project with Royal Exchange Theatre last year. Read his story on our blog.

We launched our UK-wide Belong programme last year and set out to help 5,000 young people tackle loneliness through co-operative action. But thanks to the support of Co-op members, colleagues and suppliers from this event, we’re now expecting to beat that target.

This is partly because the more we raise through Co-op, the more we can persuade others to back our cause as well. The Government’s Building Connections Fund recently committed to match £1 million we’ll raise from other sources, so every pound goes twice as far

A big thanks to the Co-op Property team

I’d like to say a huge thanks to the Property team for choosing us as one of the causes for their fundraising evening and their suppliers for giving so generously. We can’t thank them enough for the difference it will make.

If you or your team are interested in how you can help the Co-op Foundation to tackle youth loneliness, leave a comment below, or email us at foundation@coop.co.uk

You can also sign up for regular updates on our work by subscribing to the Co-op Foundation blog.

Jim Cooke
Head of the Co-op Foundation

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. We should recognise that the work that our special colleagues are doing here can be life changing to many people who cannot access local authority services, or services simply don’t exist. These works are what underpin our Co-op Values. We are all busy colleagues with tight goals and deadlines but please let’s ensure that our Co-op supports it’s colleagues to continue to invest time into community events.

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