young people sat in a youth workshop

The Property team has joined forces with our charity, the Co-op Foundation, to help it make an even bigger difference to communities and young people.

Money raised from clothes donated to 850 textile banks at our Co-op Food stores will go to support the Foundation, which tackles youth loneliness through Belong and helps community spaces become more sustainable. Funds raised will also support the Salvation Army, which runs the banks for us.

How you can help

Look out for our textile banks next time you visit your local Co-op Food store, they are normally located in the car park.

Then dig through your wardrobe and donate your unwanted clothes and shoes, which many of us will have as we go through the Christmas period. Every donation will help, and banks are open all year round.

What your donations will do

We expect almost 10 million kilos of unwanted clothes and shoes to be donated over the next three years. These will then be recycled to raise more than £1 million for both charities to share per year, a great example of Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities working in action.

Co-op Foundation has been tackling youth loneliness since Co-op research found young people were more likely to be lonely than any other age group. Read about the Foundation’s 2018 impact.

Its Community Spaces programme is also making a difference by supporting community halls, co-operative run sports academies and community garden centres to be more sustainable.

Funds received by The Salvation Army will help them support people across the UK, including those experiencing homelessness, addiction and domestic abuse.

I’m also delighted this partnership is about more than just fundraising because it will help the environment, too. More than 300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothes go to landfill each year and, by making a dent in this at Co-op, things are better for everyone.

Remember, you can also support the Co-op Foundation by choosing it as your Local Cause.

Abbie Case
Co-op Property team Category Manager (Soft Services)

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Will the clothes go directly to the homeless or are they sold on to recycling centres? Thank you.

    • Hi Charlotte, The clothes are sorted into those that can be resold in the Salvation Army stores and the rest go to recycle centres. Salvation Army use the money raised from these stores in all of the work referred to in the article.

  2. Should we really be partnering with the Salvation Army given their stance on gay rights? I appreciate that there may not be other viable partners and, if this is the case, I’d love to hear how we might be trying to influence them to change their views.

    • Paul, thanks for your comment.
      At the Co-op, we work with a number of charities and other partners, to deliver community and wider social benefits. We do not judge the faith and beliefs of our partners – but we would not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual identity in the operations or delivery of the services of any of our partners.
      Co-op recently revisited the Salvation Army’s policies and practices, and engaged directly with them on this issue, to reassure ourselves that there are no barriers to the LGBT community in working for or accessing Salvation Army Services, and we are satisfied that this is the case.
      Thanks, Andy Mortimer

      • How about the long history of discrimination against LGBT people that Salvation Army has? They might have wrote a policy of anti-discrimination recently but for many years they did discriminate against LGBT people openly. Personally, I find it hard to believe that all of the sudden that has stopped due to a policy, and as a LGBT colleague I’m deeply concern about this association – there were definitely much better suited charities out there who’s morals and values are in line with our own.

  3. I’m a head office colleague. How do I know whether my local food store will be participating so I can drum up support in my community?

    • Hi M.
      Best thing would be to look at the clothing bank in your local store and see if it’s a Salvation Army one. If so, then yes, the donations will be shared and will support the Foundation. If you want to query any of them, then best to email Abbie (who’s contact info can be found in the directory on the intranet).
      Thanks, Kevin

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