Fifteen charities across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire are sharing a £50,000 payout from sales of 5p carrier bags at Heart of England Co-operative Society.
Shoppers were asked to vote for good causes in their area, and chose to give £5,000 each to The Laura Centre in Coventry, Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlilfe Sanctuary, Hinckley Homeless Group, Friends of Foundry Wood, a community woodland in Royal Leamington Spa; and the Rugby Community First Responders.
The Coventry Young Carers, Doorway in Nuneaton, Hinckley Mencap, Warwick and Leamington Foodbank, and Age UK Rugby each received £3,000.
And Coventry Mencap & Wayfarers Club, Barnados, Hinckley Community Transport, the Helen Ley Care Centre in Leamington and New Directions in Rugby, which supports adults with learning disabilities, each received £2,000.
This follows a £30,000 handout from carrier bag sales at the society, shared among charities in 2016 following the introduction of the government’s 5p levy on retailers.
Gail Moore founded The Laura Centre with her husband Harry in 1991, to offer specialist support to families who had suffered the loss of a child. It followed the death of their five-year-old daughter Laura in 1989.
She said: “This donation is fabulous. We rely on grass-roots support and this gives us a great opportunity to raise the money we need to keep the doors open, and to raise the profile of the charity’s work and the need for anyone else to come forward if they can help in any way, shape or form while we grow this service locally.”
Louise Adams, from Hinckley Homeless Group, added: “We would like to thank customers at the Heart of England for thinking of us, and of the young people we support.
“Our young people do struggle – especially with all the new benefits systems coming into effect. They find personal finance and becoming independent so difficult that any support we can give them is incredibly useful – and of course this would not be possible without the support of the public.
Ali Kurji, chief executive of the society, said: “Every one of these fantastic causes plays a vital role in its respective areas and we are delighted to be able to support each of them.
“Our customers are key in helping to make a difference to the charities that are local to them. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote and who have helped make a difference not only to the lives of other people, but also to animals and the environment of our trading area.”