Independent retailer Southern Co-op is offering thousands of pounds worth of micro grants to good causes helping communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
In March, the society donated £40,000 to a community fund for the causes and individuals most affected by the pandemic.
So far, 30 local groups have been awarded the grant from the Neighbourly Community Fund to help residents across Dorset, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, London, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire.
Beth Rogers, fundraising manager at the Rose Road Association in Hampshire, said: “We’re so unbelievably grateful to the team at Southern Co-op for referring us to the fund and for the £400 donation.
“At Rose Road we work with children and young adults with complex disabilities from across Southampton and Hampshire. We have overnight respite care units for children and adults, community outreach services, a family support and advice centre, and play sessions too. For families our services can be a vital lifeline giving them a break from 24/7 care at home and allowing carers the chance to sleep and reset.
“During coronavirus many of our families have faced even more difficult challenges. Thanks to our wonderful supporters and the emergency grants we have been given, we’ve been able to support families when other provisions across the country had to close, offer emergency placements and emergency overnight care, deliver shopping and prescriptions, provide phone and online support, and offer free day care to key workers who have children with disabilities.”
It is estimated that, to date, these micro grants have helped support more 5,500 people and provided more than 6,700 meals in local communities.
Local causes which have received grants so far are Abby’s Heroes, in Southampton, Hampshire; Adapted Cycling, in Worthing, West Sussex; Bognor Regis Men’s Shed, in Bognor, West Sussex; Boogie Mites, in Portsmouth, Hampshire; Clanfield Football Club, in Hampshire; Community Transport Sussex (Bluebird Community Transport), in Lewes, East Sussex; Christmas in Stockbridge, in Hampshire; Dementia Cafe’s Brent BIG picnic week, in London; Dementia UK; Dorchester Opportunity Preschool Group Ltd, in Dorchester, Dorset; Express FM, in Portsmouth, Hampshire; Firstlight Trust which runs Gosport cafe hub; My Sisters’ House Women’s Centre, in Bognor, West Sussex; Holbrook Primary School, in Trowbridge, Wiltshire; Julian House, in Bath, Somerset; Norfolk Square Group, in Brighton, East Sussex; Portsmouth Community Cricket Club, in Hampshire; R.I.S.E. (Refuge, Information, Support And Education), in Brighton, East Sussex; Rose Road Association, in Southampton, Hampshire; Royal Voluntary Service; Service By Emergency Rider Volunteers (Serv Wessex), in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset; Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund, in Southampton, Hampshire; Stripey Stork, in Reigate, Surrey; The Bevy, in Brighton, East Sussex; The Hive, in Portsmouth, Hampshire; The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity; Tonic Music for Mental Health, in Portsmouth, Hampshire; Tuppenny Barn Education, in Southbourne, West Sussex; Wessex Cancer Trust – Isle of Wight; and West Wight Men in Sheds, on the Isle of Wight. Rose Green Junior School PTA, in West Sussex, has also been approved to receive the grant shortly.
Miles Henson, Station Director at Express FM, a community radio station which provides important information updates and companionship to locals, said: “Our programmes run health advice, programmes which link to local groups and items that celebrate and encourage neighbourliness.
“All of these themes link to our overall mission to improve health, wellbeing and a sense of community in a city that faces socio-economic challenges even in good times.
“This help from Southern Co-op and Neighbourly will support our volunteers providing companionship and information to the Portsmouth community. Thank you.”
Organisations based near Southern Co-op’s stores or funeral homes can apply for grants using their new or existing Neighbourly profiles via neighbourly.com