Charities across Scotland will benefit from funding through Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Connect programme.
The programme, trialled last year in the society’s North region, has been extended to all of Scotmid’s trading areas, with nine local charities placed on shortlists for awards of up to £15,000. The groups were shortlisted by a Scotmid member selection panel.
Community Connect enables Scotmid members to choose local organisations for support from funding generated through the sale of single-use carrier bags. They collect votes by swiping their Community Connect card after every in-store purchase. Members can then vote for their preferred cause at an ordinary general meeting in October.
Last year, the society awarded £15,000 to Street Connect, a charity based in Glasgow which supports disadvantaged individuals dealing with addiction problems and related life-controlling issues such as mental health, homelessness and isolation. The organisation will use the funding to refurbish their Outreach Café in the city centre.
The shortlisted groups in the North Member Region, encompassing Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth, are Inverness Foodstuff, Pillar Kincardine and Laurencekirk Memorial Park.
For the West Member Region, which includes Glasgow, Paisley, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Stirling and Lanarkshire, the charities selected are Lanarkshire’s Equitots, Esteem Clydesdale and St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie.
Finally, for the East Member Region, covering Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians, the organisations shortlisted are South Queensferry’s Blood Bikes Scotland, Broxburn Family Centre and Prestonpans-based Harlawhill Day Care Centre.
Scotmid also runs a Community Grant Programme which last year awarded grants of up to £500 to more than 1,000 local community groups.