Twenty-two good causes to receive vital support thanks to £20,800 funding boost from Co-op community fund

Posted by james brindle | Published: 14/09/2022

  • Twenty-two charities and community groups share out £20,800 in funding from Central England Co-op (CEC) Community Dividend Fund
  • CEC has allocated the grants that aim to support access to food, health and wellbeing, inclusion and the environment
  • Groups in the following areas have been supported: Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northants, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands

Central England Co-op has handed out £20,800 to 22 charities and good causes as part of its revamped Community Dividend Fund aimed at supporting those who help support access to food, health and wellbeing, inclusion and the environment.

A wide range of charities and community organisations were delighted to receive the funding boost during these uncertain times.

Groups apply for between £100 to £5,000 every two months to support all manner of projects after, for the past 18 months, the fund was temporarily repurposed to support good causes impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time, 194 good causes have shared over £261,000.

Organisations in the following areas have benefitted from a grant from the latest round of funding: Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northants, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Andy Seddon, Society Secretary, said: “Community Dividend Fund grants showcase how by being a member and shopping at your local Central England Co-op store allows us as a Society to continue to invest and fund vital projects in the area – especially during uncertain times like these.

“Our relaunched fund aligns with our new Society Purpose to create a sustainable Society for all and we are delighted to share these funds with these amazing groups and cannot wait to see how they use it to benefit their local community.”
To apply, members will need: name, address, membership number, organisation type, organisation bank account or constitution and to explain what the group does, how the grant will be spent and the specific impact it will have.

People can find out the full criteria and how to apply for funding by visiting


Notes to editors

Below is a full breakdown of good causes handed funding listed via county:


St Luke’s Catholic Church, Peterborough – £500 and £500 vouchers – to support local families with emergency food supplies.

Father Jeffrey Downie said: “St. Luke's Food Hub in Peterborough are delighted to receive a grant from the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund. This will be a great help to us in supporting struggling local families and all of the money given will be used in providing emergency food supplies to them at times of difficulty. We welcome anyone who comes to us without question and in a non-religious way. Sadly, the need has been growing lately so we are very grateful for the help of the Co-op.”

The Kite Trust, Ely – £500 and £500 vouchers – to support camping trip for LGBTQ+ young people and help restart the group’s food voucher scheme.

Chief Executive Pip Gardner said: “The £500 will be going towards our camping trip for LGBTQ+ young people in September where we are taking 24 youth away for a residential weekend. They’ll be trying new activities, crafts and games, and spend time with their peers to build lasting friendships and develop their self-confidence.

“The funding means that we can provide plenty of equipment so nobody is prevented from attending based on what equipment they might personally have, and provide travel bursaries for those on low incomes to get to camp.

“The £500 in vouchers will allow us to restart our food voucher scheme to ensure young people and their families can purchase nutritious food, as well as treats from time to time, when they might be struggling financially. Thank you so much to Central England Co-op members for making these initiatives possible!”

The DX Club, Duxford C of E Community Primary School – £500 vouchers – to help the club provide packed lunches for holiday club.

Lisa Wood, from the club, said: “The DX Club, a small charity providing wrap-around-childcare for children who attend Duxford Primary School. We also run a Holiday Club during the school holidays. 

We were delighted to hear that we have been awarded £500 from Central England Co-op.

“This funding will go towards the HAF Programme (Holidays Activities and food programme). This programme is funded by the Department of Education and allows families to use our Holiday Club.  “We have supported 22 children to come to our Holiday Club during the Summer Holidays and each child has the opportunity to attend our club up to 64 hours.

“Whilst the majority of this donation will go towards food, we have also purchased reusable water bombs which the children love, twiddle toys and reusable cones for making ice lollies.”


Friends of Grassmoor Country Park (FGCP), Chesterfield – £500 – to help fund the continuation of a path that will enable the park users to access more of the park’s area and enjoy the benefits the park offers to a wide range of visitors.

Richard Embrey from FGCP said: “The Central England Co-op organisation really does co-operate and do what they say by supporting local communities via their community dividend fund grants. Here at FGCP we are thrilled and delighted to be one of the fortunate ones to be awarded the grant.”

Green Thyme CIC, Ockbrook – £500 and £500 vouchers – to fund community engagement sessions and supplies.

1st Marlpool and Heanor Scout Group – £1,000 – to help fund catering equipment for camps.

Life Dronfield CIO – £250 and £750 vouchers – to help fund food and kitchen supplies.

Andy Evers, from Life Dronfield, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded £1,000 from the Community Dividend Fund. This money will be spent on setting up our "Pay what you can" weekly lunch club in Dronfield.

“This grant has meant we can launch the lunch club in September and support those in our community who need a warm safe place to get a hot meal. Thank you so much to Central England Co-op for supporting us with this, it's means a great deal to us and those in our community who will benefit from this grant.”


The Salvation Army, South Wigston – £500 and £500 vouchers – to support their work helping those in need in the local community.

Andrew Richardson, Community Centre Manager at the Salvation Army Leicester South, said: “The grant from Central England Co-op will enable us to meet the needs of many more people within our community.

“There is a growing need for our food bank and as the cost of living goes up, we can only see this increasing; with this grant along with kind donations from the general public we will be able help in some way.

“On behalf of The Salvation Army and the many people who will benefit from this grant I would like to say a huge thank you.”

Whetstone Theatre Company Limited – £1,000 – to help fund a new storage unit.

The Braunstone Foundation (b-inspired) – £500 and £500 vouchers – to be used towards stair climbing trolley and food supplies.

Greener Goscote – £400 – to help fund a battery powered mower, seeds, shrubs and habitats.


Sense, Glenside – £3,200 – to fund two months of horse-riding sessions for children and adults with complex disabilities.

Community Fundraiser Carl Williams said: “We are extremely grateful to Central England Co-operative for this tremendous donation.

“Our partnership with Four Winds Equestrian Centre offers a range of unique opportunities for disabled people to build confidence, get active and feel a sense of belonging at weekly horse-riding sessions.

“The generosity of Central England Co-op will help us continue these sessions which support local people with complex disabilities to develop and connect with others.”


Bak Up CIC, Raunds – £500 and £500 vouchers – to help provide essential food parcels to those in need in the community.

Prince Caesar, from Bak Up, said: “It is an amazing feeling to receive £500 in cash and £500 in vouchers from the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund.

“As an organisation this means that we can continue to provide essential mobile food parcel for those who have been directly impacted adversely by the pandemic and are still in a recovery stage and those who are struggling due to the high cost of living. Furthermore, we will be able to provide extra support for those on our waiting list.

“This also means our volunteers will be able to go and deliver food parcels to those who are unable to come to us. We aim to forge a lasting partnership with Central England Co-op to equip these people with the required skill and tools to overcome financial difficulties and take control of their wellbeing.”


Bradwell Parish Council – £1,000 – to help support a partnership with YMCA Norfolk to provide a much-needed new youth club in Bradwell.

Parish Clerk Catherine Bacon, on behalf of Bradwell Parish Council, said: “Our Council was so thrilled to receive notification that we’ve been successful in our grant application to Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund.

“The grant will be spent on providing a new and much-needed Youth Club in Bradwell. We have partnered with YMCA Norfolk for their staff to deliver the youth club in the Old School Village Community Centre on Friday evenings, starting October 2022.

“There will be two youth clubs, one for 8 to 12-year-old’s and another for 12 to 16-year-old’s. The two youth clubs will be for three hours in total every Friday. The club activities will be both fun and educational.

“The youth workers will dedicate their time to educate the young people of Bradwell in a fun and supportive way and guide them in making better life choices.

“The youth workers will also work closely with local stakeholders (including the police), will build relationships, encourage outdoor play, deal with behavioural challenges, meet parents, be a consistent presence and undertake conflict resolution.

“To be able to provide much needed youth facilities in Bradwell will make such a difference to the lives of the young people in Bradwell and we thank Central England Co-op members once again for helping to make this happen.”

Chet Valley Community Larder, Loddon – £1,000 – to support internal improvements to the building.


Lichfield District City of Sanctuary – £500 and £500 vouchers – to support room hire and purchase refreshments for sessions provided for people in Lichfield who face discrimination or exclusion due to displacement, racism, poverty, abuse, disability, sexuality and violence.

Cherishers 811 CIC, Lichfield – £500 and £500 vouchers – to help with running of lunch club for disadvantaged individuals.


Dordon Community Café – £500 – to help provide meals in the community café.

Andrew Chittenden, Chairperson of the Dordon Community Café Committee, said: “Dordon Community Cafe is delighted to receive an award from the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund. 

“This award will ensure that for another year the Cafe is able to provide a substantial and nourishing family meal that is provided monthly for all local residents, without cost. The award will be spent mainly on a monthly FareShare food delivery. The meals are served in the village hall, and they have become a popular and important community social event.”


S12 Helping Hands, Sheffield – £500 and £500 vouchers – to support its work providing food. Clothing and Christmas gifts to those in need.

Grow to School CIC, Huddersfield – £1,000 – to support its work in the area of food growing and outdoor learning with schools and communities.

West Midlands

Sneh Sangam Day Centre 50 Plus – £200 – to fund venue and equipment hire, food and drinks.

Square Peg Activities, Sutton Coldfield – £1,000 – to support its work for disabled children with funding towards replacing an unsafe patio.

Chair of Trustees Sharon Needham said: “We are delighted to have been awarded £1,000 towards the repair of the patio. The patio is the only access to the sensory garden and sensory room which were designed for disabled children, and it’s the only access into the forest garden via a ramp.

“Currently the patio is cracked and uneven, this makes wheelchair access difficult and when it rains and freezes it also is a slip hazard. The resurface will make access so much easier, it will allow children to run on it without cause for concern. Without funding we would never be able to afford the work so we thank you very much.”


About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

Press office contact: James Brindle, Public Relations Lead

Contact details: email and telephone 07392 080028.