Scotmid begins its Community Connect journey to support good causes

The new scheme means members can get involved in how the funding is awarded

A new scheme from Scotmid Co-operative means members can award funds of up to £15,000, generated from the sale of single-use carrier bags.

Community Connect is being trialled in Scotmid’s North Region, covering Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Perth. Mark Beaumont, Scotmid brand ambassador, says the launch is the start of “an exciting journey” for members.

A record-breaking long-distance cyclist, Mr Beaumont added that the initiative is an innovative way for members to support good causes.

“Community Connect is a fantastic concept and I’m really excited to be involved in the start of such a worthwhile journey for Scotmid members in the North,” he said.

“This will be a real game-changer and enable good cause groups in the North to fund substantial projects.”

Over the past 12 months Scotmid awarded £313,000 to hundreds of community groups via its Community Grant programme, and the society’s 2016 charity of the year partner, Alzheimer Scotland, received £375,000. Scotmid says Community Connect will fit in between the two current initiatives.

Scotmid’s North Region contains over 40 food stores and has 6,000 members, who received their Community Connect cards at the start of May.

Three short-listed good cause groups chosen by a panel are: Eighteen and Under, based in Dundee, which provides long-term confidential support for young people (aged 18 and under) who have experienced abuse; Links Park Community Trust in Montrose, which harnesses the power and widespread appeal of sport, particularly football, to inspire change; and Moray School Bank, which offers new school clothes and warm winter clothing to children living in poverty across Moray, helping to alleviate financial hardship for families.

From 15 May, every time a member makes a purchase at a Scotmid store, they will accumulate votes which they can cast for their preferred good cause group at the North Region’s OGM in October.

“Scotmid Co-operative has been serving our local communities for over 150 years and Community Connect is the next chapter in our ongoing journey,” said Scotmid chief executive, John Brodie.

“Community Connect is an initiative that will enable our members to feel more connected to Scotmid and play a valued role in determining which good cause groups receive substantial amounts of funding.”

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