Central England Co-operative’s Community Dividend Fund awards £42,000

The society is reinvesting 1% of its trading profit into the local communities, with grants ranging from £100 to £5,000

Central England Co-operative has helped 36 good causes across 16 counties, awarding them a total of £42,000 in grants.

Among them was Derby-based charity Rethink Mental Illness, which supports people with mental health issues. The charity received £1,050 to buy computer equipment.

Hannah Williams, service manager at Rethink, said: “This will help all of our service users to be able to access advice and guidance online, be able to bid on houses for people who are ready to move on and sort out benefit issues from our communal space.”

Another grant of £5,000 will go to Variety, the Children’s Charity, which joined efforts with the Harrington Day Nursery to develop a special interactive floor that will support youngsters with disabilities with their movement, speech and language.

Similarly, Broxtowe Women’s Project, a domestic abuse charity in Nottingham, has been handed £1,650 to acquire new laptops and spend more time with women and children affected by domestic abuse.

Sarah Dagley, business and fundraising manager at Broxtowe Women’s Project, said: “We are thrilled to receive the funding from the Community Dividend Fund.

“For small charities like Broxtowe Women’s Project this type of funding is invaluable and will enable us to support women and children affected by domestic abuse.”

Sunbeams, a charity for children and families impacted by autism in Great Yarmouth, has also been handed £2,500 to help complete an outdoor area for people to play and learn.

Sue Carr, Sunbeams deputy manager, said: “We would like to say a big thank you from the children and young people at Sunbeams Play, the staff and trustees.

“At Sunbeams we try to promote a healthy lifestyle including exercise; being able to replace the poor grass area in our garden with a safe durable artificial surface will enable us to provide a wide range of activities and encourage those attending the centre to take part on a regular basis.”

Another £1,000 grant will go to South Leicestershire Mobile Toy Library, where Liz Keenan said: “We support children with disabilities and additional needs by lending them toys that bring them enjoyment and help with their early years development.

“The money that we have been awarded will enable us to buy a fantastic selection of new sensory toys meaning that more children can benefit from our service.”

Local football, rugby and cheerleading teams have also received grants from the society to pay for kits for the new season.

Central England Co-operative chief executive, Martyn Cheatle, said: “We are delighted that these great projects and good causes have been handed a grant for the fantastic work they do in the community.

“Community Dividend Fund grants like this showcase how being a member and continuing to support Central England Co-op helps us as a society continue to invest and fund vital projects in the local area.”

Through the fund the society is reinvesting 1% of its trading profit into the local communities, with grants ranging from £100 to £5,000.