A total of 70 community organisations throughout Tamworth Co-op’s trading area are to share a £35,000 festive pot to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign.
The ‘70 for 70 Community Donation’ is the largest single amount ever handed out by the Tamworth society during its long history.
The Christmas cash will benefit a huge range of groups. Among the recipients are charities offering support to young people, single mums, victims of domestic abuse, people with learning difficulties, the blind, elderly, disabled, homeless and sick, as well as those with mental health issues.
Nurseries, schools, foodbanks and first responders are also on the list of beneficiaries, along with sports and recreational clubs, police, sea and air cadets, Scouts and Guides.
The money has come from Tamworth Co-op’s Cash in the Bag scheme which raises funds fo good causes from the sale of carrier bags.
Chief executive Julian Coles said: “Community groups the length and breadth of the local area are struggling like never before because of inflation and soaring energy prices. We wanted, therefore to do something special to help them this Christmas.
“Like millions of people in this country we experienced both the joy of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June and the great sadness of Her Majesty’s passing in September.
“We decided to spread some festive cheer far and wide across the Tamworth area in her honour. She was an exceptional and much-loved monarch. I think she would have been touched to know that she was the inspiration behind this wave of financial support to organisations which do such exemplary work in the community.”
He credited Sheree Peaple, who serves on the society’s board of directors, for coming up with the ‘inspired 70-for-70 idea.’
Coles revealed that 2022 was a record year for the Tamworth Co-op as far as community support is concerned. Despite facing the toughest economic trading challenges, the society’s Community Dividend Fund distributed a further £10,000 to local organisations during the year.
He added: “A lot of people think that because we bear the Co-op name, we are part of a vast national organisation. They couldn’t be more wrong. We were founded in Tamworth invi886, and to this day remain a local, independent co-operative society. We are as much part of this town as the Robin Reliant and the Tamworth pig.
“Part of our ethos as a co-operative is to give back to the area we serve, and we constantly do that by supporting local worthy causes. This culture of giving back was instilled in us by our founder, Reverend William MacGregor. I’m sure he would be delighted to see us offering this kind of support in an area he lived in and loved.”