Southern Co-op’s support keeps vital community classes going

‘This charity and the groups it runs make such a difference to the people who attend’

The Co-operative Funeralcare in Shaftesbury, Dorset – part of Southern Co-op – has donated £300 to local cookery classes aimed at improving people’s mental health and preventing social isolation.

Hope 2 Bake is one of a number of projects run by Shaftesbury and District Carers Association, which works for the benefit of those who are vulnerable and at risk within the community. The charity was formed to provide a safe haven for those who need it and has since expanded to include a wide range of projects to help people learn new skills and enjoy themselves.

Michael Player, funeral co-ordinator at the Shaftesbury branch, said: “Being part of a regional, independent co-operative enables us to support our local community in a number of ways. This charity and the groups it runs make such a difference to the people who attend. It is really heartening to see it in action.

“The project assists people with their mental health as it allows them to join together in a safe place and learn new skills. It also helps them to socialise and gain the confidence to get out into the community more. We hope it continues for many years to come.”

Eileen Crew, founder of Shaftesbury and District Carers Association, said: “The donation Co-operative Funeralcare has given us will be used towards the day-to-day running of our cookery classes. It will also be used for fresh daily ingredients. 

“We are very grateful for this kind donation. Without donations our projects would not be able to continue – and Hope 2 Bake has such a positive impact on the community and the individuals who attend.”