By Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO
Since 2016, our colleague members have helped raise £100 million for local communities. To everyone who has made this amazing figure happen, I want to say thank you.
When our members buy selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p for every pound spent is split between the Local Community Fund and the Community Partnership Fund. From supporting projects that improve access to food and mental wellbeing, to education and employment opportunities for young people, our Local Community Fund has never been so important.
As we celebrate raising £100 million over the last five years, data from the latest funding round shows that community support is needed more than ever, with more than a million Co-op members selecting a cause in a single round of our Local Community Fund. The highest numbers since we launched in 2016.
Supporting causes throughout the UK
The money raised by our members includes supporting over 25,000 causes across the UK, as well as helping national organisations and charities such as Hubbub, where our partnership has funded 100 new community fridges in local communities, providing 6.8 million meals a year.
We’ve signposted 500,000 people to helpful mental wellbeing information and services with Mind, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire.
Our partnership with the Peer Action Collective (PAC) has created over 6,000 opportunities for young people to make their communities safer to live.
And we’ve enabled 7,000 Co-op Academy to receive free Co-op food vouchers – the equivalent of 1.2 million meals.
Last week Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value, and I had the pleasure of meeting colleagues from Food and Funeralcare, Member Pioneers in London and the Local Community Fund causes our members have supported in the last 12 months.
Supporting the communities we serve is a big part of our vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’ and it was great to see the impact that our members are having just by choosing Co-op. It was also great to see the passion shared by our colleagues for their local causes and hear more about the ongoing support they are giving to their local communities.
Here are just a few of the amazing 4,500 causes we’ve supported through the Local Community Fund and I got to meet last week:
Supporting mental wellbeing through Sport
Minds United Football Club aims to use sport as a medium to connect the community and reduce isolation by improving the 4 elements of wellbeing – social, emotional, physical and mental health. They meet up regularly for some free, fun and friendly football. Since 2019 the club has supported adults with lived experience of mental health issues. The Local Community Fund, with support from Co-op Members, has raised over £5,000 for Minds United Football Club.
Vicki McGarrigle, Inclusion Officer at Minds United shared:
We’re so thankful for Co-op members for their support which has enabled us to provide level 1 coaching and refereeing course for adults in the community as part of weekly football sessions.
Supporting young people with the skills and opportunities they need
Nova in West London works with individuals from marginalised and disadvantaged communities who are looking to achieve their potential and a better future. They bring people together to learn and develop through frontline services and events, responding to the needs of their community. Co-op members raised £2,999 supporting even more young people in the local area.
Amy from Nova told us:
Money raised by Co-op members is going to be a tremendous help. It will help provide a range of trips and activities for young people and their families to go out, have fun and learn new skills.
Bringing the community together to support everyday needs
The ClementJames Centre empowers the community to release its potential and live fulfilled lives. They do this through employment support, education opportunities for children and young people, adult learning courses, and activities to improve wellbeing and find solutions to day-to-day problems. Over £3,000 has been raised by Co-op members to this community.
ClementJames Centre’s Daniel told us:
This will help our young people to access more provisions, it will help us run some wellbeing classes for some of our adult clients too.
Celebrate with an exclusive member deal
It’s the final days for all members to select a bonus offer via the Co-op App and get £1 off a bottle of Scalini Prosecco 75cl and Fox’s Fabulously 550g till 30 November. We’ll also donate £1 to the Local Community Fund for every product bought with the offer.
So, share the deal with family and friends and encourage them to become members!
If you’re not already a colleague member of our Co-op, check out our colleague membership page to find out how easy it is to earn rewards for you and your community and select a cause.
Choose a cause
Through the Co-op App you can choose a new Local Community Fund cause to support whenever you buy Co-op branded products and services.