Isle of Wight causes receive backing from Southern Co-op

Colleagues from the society’s Funeralcare branches gave nearly 400 hours of volunteer work, while donations topped £15,000

Local groups in the Isle of Wight benefited from almost 400 hours of time and more than £15,000 of cash and goods from the Southern Co-op’s Funeralcare business.

The society, which runs six Funeralcare branches across the island, made 200 donations in 2018/2019.

Sector operations manager Elaine Dove said: “Last year was such a bumper year for our funeral co-ordinators and assistants with the work they have been doing in their local communities. It was topped off by winning Business in the Community Awards at the IW Chamber Business Awards.

“There were a lot of firsts –  in Shanklin we held our first ever dog show in aid of the MissIsle School of sip-puff sailing. Lake, Shanklin and Newport colleagues abseiled the Spinnaker Tower, raising over £700 for Challenge and Adventure and, after a year of planning, Ryde colleagues held a Charity Ball for The Phoenix Project and raised over £1,500.

“Another donation was to West Wight Nursery at the St Saviour’s Primary School site in Totland after thieves stole equipment from its outbuildings.”

Southern made the donations through its Love Your Neighbourhood programme to promote greener, healthier, safer, and more inclusive neighbourhoods.

Between February 2018 and January 2019 the society hosted a number of activities, including a Christmas movie weekend in Lake for Wessex Cancer Trust and a race night for the West Wight Sports & Community Centre in Freshwater.

Other donations helped fund a media system at the West Wight Patient Participation Group,  defibrillator at Newclose Cricket Club and a greenhouse to promote healthy eating at Oakfield Primary in Ryde.

Community investment manager Jessica Hughes said: “Our colleagues work incredibly hard throughout the year to support their local communities. It is something we are especially proud of.

“But this year, when we sat down and looked back at the whole year, we were overwhelmed by the time and effort they have put in. This is in addition to donations made by people in memory of their loved ones.”

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