Midcounties Co-op has announced a £75,000 Community Restart Fund to provide immediate financial support for its partner community groups, whose funding and operation has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Community and charity partners that are facing extra challenges or financial hardship as a result of coronavirus can apply for grants of up to £1,000, which will be paid directly into their bank accounts.
The scheme was launched by Midcounties on 16 May at its virtual AGM and partner groups have until 29 May to get their applications in.
Group CEO Phil Ponsonby said: “Many of the groups we support are working incredibly hard in their communities to help people through the outbreak.
“At the same time, lockdown restrictions and the huge changes to people’s day-to-day lives have made it increasingly difficult for them to raise funds through their usual activities. Our Community Restart Fund is designed to help fill that gap and, crucially, do it quickly.
“Supporting our communities and members is at the heart of what we do at Co-op Midcounties, and always will be. Together with our colleagues, members and customers, we’ve already raised over £100,000 for our charity partners over the last year, and we’re pleased to be able to provide even further support at this crucial time.”
Previous initiatives by the society during the Covid-19 crisis include the launch in March of its home delivery service which has seen it partner with more than 60 community group and over 700 volunteers to make 30,000 essential shopping deliveries to vulnerable people to date.
It also opened a food bank fund with a donation of £25,000 to help ensure local food banks can continue to provide essential support to those most in need. The fund now stands at £40,000 and has already helped more than 50 food banks close to its stores.
Through its Childcare business, which kept open 19 nurseries in areas close to local hospitals, it supported critical workers with childcare fees with the launch of a key worker fund. Following an initial donation of £25,000 from Co-op Midcounties, the fund raised a total of £40,000 which helped to reduce April’s childcare fees for key worker parents who opted into the scheme.
For more information on the Community Restart Fund, visit