The Co-op Group has opened its next round of community funding – with a focus on community wellbeing.
The Local Community Fund supports UK organisations and causes that make a difference in communities. It is funded by Co-op members through the organisation’s ‘5 and 1’ scheme, where 5% of what a member spends on Co-op own-label products and services is paid back as an immediate dividend, while 1% goes to local causes (members can choose their local cause from a list).
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group, which has supported more than 20,000 causes across the UK over the past three years, is targeting its funding at organisations that are working towards community wellbeing. In particular, it is looking for projects that are supporting access to essential services, for example, foodbanks or green spaces, improving mental and physical wellbeing, or building community resilience.
Groups involved in any of these activities are being urged to apply to be a beneficiary of the scheme, which paid out an average of almost £5,000 to 4,500 causes across the UK last year.
“The Co-op Local Community Fund supports grass-roots projects across the UK that our members care about,” said Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and shared value, at the Co-op Group. “We want to help communities to come together, co-operate and have a positive impact on community wellbeing – physically and virtually. I would urge any group that feels it fits our criteria to apply for funding. We know they need a funding boost now more than ever.”
Applications are welcome from UK registered charities; Scout, Guide or Woodcraft Folk groups; registered community amateur sports clubs (CASC); Church or chapels that are ‘excepted’ charities; co-operative societies; credit unions; community benefit societies; community interest companies; and any other organisations that can prove they are not run for private profit.
The closing date for applications is 28 June; successful applicants will be notified by October 2020, will be part of the Local Community Fund for 12 months from 25 October 202 and will receive their share of the funding in two payments (April 2021 and November 2021).
For more information and to apply, visit causes.coop.co.uk.