With a total reported investment of £309,000, Scotmid Co-operative came top of the charity and community index. This represents a total charity and community figure of 16.1% of pre-tax profits.
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.
Last year Scotmid raised over £260,000 for cancer support charity Maggie’s Centre. Staff members took part in a number of inspiring challenges to raise money for Maggie’s. They skied the height of Mount Everest at SnowZone in Braehead, bungee jumped from the River Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie and abseiled down the Dundee University water tower. The success of the fundraising campaign exceeded the expectations of Scotmid members, who were hoping to raise £150,000.
It reported a turnover of £428,091,000, while the total community investment rose to £454,000, which represents 23.7% of the pre-tax and dividend profits. Scotmid staff and members volunteered over 3,000 hours in the community.
Throughout 2013/2014, Scotmid will be raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, its new charity of the year. Staff members have so far taken part in sponsored zip slides, abseils, marathons and cycles. All of the co-operative’s outlets also have Prostate Cancer UK pin badges available for a suggested donation of £1.
Apart from raising funds for research into prostate cancer, the charity partnership is also aimed at raising awareness among employees and local communities. In November, Scotmid Co-operative staff members raised over £7,000 for Movember and Prostate Cancer UK.
The co-operative also runs a community grant scheme that helps fund a wide variety of projects, including workshops on healthy living and eating, as well as Fairtrade or cultural events.
Since 2011, Scotmid is also involved in a national community project run jointly with the Scottish Ambulance. To address the lack of access to ambulances in some areas, Scotmid has placed defibrillators for community use in 35 of its stores. In December, Scotmid donated £500 to Dundee’s Fiveways Centre to enable them to purchase a new cooker, helped fund a new foodbank in Hamilton and in December awarded a grant to Woodside Senior Club for them to throw a Christmas Party.
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.”
“Principle seven – concern for community – is very important for Scotmid,” says Patricia Edington, membership and community manager of Scotmid. “We are the heart of many Scottish communities.”
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