Radstock Co-op announces this year’s charity partners after member vote

Funds will go to Escape Support Group, which supports families of children with disabilities, and mental health organisation In Charley’s Memory

Radstock Co-op has announced its member nominated charities for 2023-4, Escape Support Group and In Charley’s Memory.

After members of the co-op chose the two charities with a vote at its AGM in June, an initial donation of £1,100 was presented to each organisation by CEO, Don Morris, president Graham Jeffery and vice-president Jeremy Ficker.

“We are thrilled to announce the start of these partnerships and are passionate about working in collaboration with the charities to advocate the outstanding support that they provide in the local community,” said Morris. “All of our 21 stores will hold a collection pot for both charities for customers wishing to donate.”

Members and other supporters can also donate to the charities through their websites, he added.

In Charley’s Memory (ICM) was formed in 2014 following the suicide of Charley Marks following a struggle that lasted through his teens. After his death his mum, Jo, founded the charity to raise awareness and reduce the stigma attached to mental heath. ICM was set up as a grassroots community response to a local issue has since grown into a regional support system across Somerset.

The charity’s CEO Dawn Carey said: “Myself and the team are delighted to be selected as Radstock Co-op’s charity of the year. Radstock Co-op is based at the heart of many of the communities we support. We are delighted to be recognised by the members for the work we do, and the wonderful support from Radstock will allow more young people to hear about our service and enable them to access vital support. On behalf of all of us at In Charley’s Memory, a big thank you to all members of Radstock Co-operative.”

Escape Support Group receive their initial donation from co-op leaders

The volunteer-run Escape Support Group (Encouraging Special Children and Parents Everywhere) offers support to families in Somerset raising children who have disabilities or additional needs, through a wide range of fun activities, days out and occasional short break holidays. Their events boost morale, increase confidence, improve social skills as well as develop and strengthen friendships.

“We are delighted and grateful to have been selected as one of Radstock’s charities of the year,” said Escape’s fundraising and admin assistant Debbie Dyer. “We are excited to be working together to help us provide subsidised activities, days out, events and mini-breaks for children with disabilities and their families. A massive thank you from all of us at ESCAPE Support Group – staff and families.”