Co-operative Group members hand out funds for good causes

The results are in for the winners of The Co-operative Membership Big Community Vote 2011.

The results are in for the winners of The Co-operative Membership Big Community Vote 2011.

The Big Community Vote gave members of The Co-operative the opportunity to nominate and then vote for the charities and community groups closest to their heart. A sum of £88,000 was up for grabs, to be shared among 44 groups.

A grand total of 1,492 community groups and charities across the UK applied for important funding for their projects and initiatives, proving that our members really pride themselves on being part of their local communities and understanding what makes their community thrive.

An astounding 15,000 of our members then voted online, giving them a real say in how The
Co-operative supports its community. The group in each Membership region that received the most votes then received grants of £2,000.

The winning groups span a wide spectrum of organisations, including a swimming club, brass band, hospice, cancer care group, bereavement group, search dogs and a wildlife garden, to name just a few.

In the North Region, Kidz Aware helps to support the parents and carers of disabled children in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas. A spokesperson for the group said: “Wow! Thank you to everyone who voted for us. You have made it possible for our much-needed work to continue. You will make a positive impact for all young people, parents and carers we work with, with or without a disability. Without your help this would not have been possible.”

Barnton Silver Band in Cheshire can trace its history back 120 years to 1891. Right from the early days, the band has been closely associated with the local community. Mike Miller, the group contact, says: “We would like to thank all The Co-operative members for voting for us and they can be sure that any money we receive will be well spent on the Youth band and their current and future positive impact in the community.”

TASS (Tavistock Area Support Service) in our South & West region, is a small local charity staffed by volunteers which provides a community hub for older people and those with disabilities. More than 400 people access their services and the grant will assist in the delivery of a new service to help get people out and about to access places that we might take for granted.

North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR) is a volunteer search and mountain rescue team predominantly covering the counties of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham but also covering large parts of Conwy and Powys. The team will use the money towards funding a fully equipped search control vehicle which will enable the team to speed up the deployment of search teams and hopefully increase the missing person detection rate.

In Northern Ireland, Autism NI will use its funding to continue to support the 20,000 people in Northern Ireland who have Austism Spectrum Disorder via a helpline, training, lobbying and media training.

CLAN Cancer Support, based in Aberdeen, provides a range of support services to relieve the distress that cancer can cause. Their funding will really make a difference to children, young people and families who are affected by cancer.  

The Herts Women’s Centre, based in Stevenage in our Central & Eastern region, will use their £2,000 to give more women in the community the opportunity to access courses to empower and improve their lives.

Dreams of Eden and Woodgrange PTA are joining forces to set up a bee-keeping project in Forest Gate, London. Their award will help them to reclaim unused land in the area, bring different communities together and conserve and protect bees. Their bee-keeping
project will provide a fun and useful way to increase inter-generational working, develop new skills, strengthen community ties and protect the environment.

• To find out more about the other successful groups and how they will use their funding visit

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