With £245,000 invested into community initiatives, Scotmid is championing community engagement.
The co-operative runs a community grant scheme that supports a wide variety of projects, including workshops on healthy living, as well as Fairtrade or cultural events. In January, Scotmid awarded a community grant of more than £1,000 to Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, helping to fund essential equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Since 2011, Scotmid has also been involved in a national community project run jointly with the Scottish Ambulance Service. To assist the response time of ambulances in some areas, Scotmid has placed defibrillators for community use in 35 of its stores. They are hoping defibrillators will be available in another ten locations by the end of the year.
“Co-operative principle seven — concern for community is very important for Scotmid,” said Patricia Edington, Membership and Community Manager of Scotmid. “We are the heart of many Scottish communities.”
To bring the community even closer, the society has launched a community recipe card initiative. For six months cards were available in stores for customers to collect. With this initiative, Scotmid was aiming to encourage people to cook from scratch, rather than buy ready-meals.
The co-operative has also teamed up with Together for Health, a healthy weight project that aims to reduce child obesity. As part of the partnership that began in 2009, various community events were organised by Scotmid to encourage local people to “move more and eat better.”
This year, Scotmid raised over £267,000 for Maggie’s, a charity that provides support for anyone affected by cancer. The success of the fundraising campaign exceeded the expectations of Scotmid members, who were hoping to raise only £150,000.
Throughout the year Scotmid employees and community groups took part in various fundraising events, including a Ride Across Britain bike challenge and a snowy charity challenge.
This year Scotmid will be raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, its new charity of the year. Staff will participate in sponsored zip slides, abseils, marathons and cycles and all stores will have pin badges available for a suggested donation of £1. Apart from raising funds for research into prostate cancer, the charity partnership are also designed to raise the profile of the desease and improving care.
The society’s partnership scheme, launched in 2001, has managed to raise more than £1m since its initiation, having sponsored many charities, including The Princes Trust, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and Marie Curie Cancer Care.