New film shows how a Community Dividend Fund grant has changed the lives of school kids

Posted by Rob Smyth | 22/06/2018 | Category: Community

Youngsters from a school in Derbyshire have starred in a special online film created to showcase how a Central England Co-op funded chill out room has made a major difference to their lives.

Edward Bancroft and Edward Rafferty, both 12, helped created the movie to talk about how a grant of £2,580 from retailer’s Community Dividend Fund had made a big impact on their lives and the lives of other children with autism and special needs at Long Eaton School, in Thoresby Road, Derbyshire.

Edward Bancroft said: “I absolutely love the chill out room because it is a great place to go when you are stressed out and you need to calm down.

“It is very relaxing and it has a very smoothing atmosphere.”

Edward Rafferty said: “If I ever come in and I am upset and angry, I can say ‘Can I go into the chill out room?’ and it is a place where I can relax.”

Teachers from the school worked with Variety the Children’s Charity (Midlands) to secure the funding which helped create the room and kit it out with sensory items such as bubble tubes and a projector.

John Presley, Manager of the Autism Resource Centre at the school, said: “School can be a very busy, very bustling, very chaotic and some of our students struggle in this environment – this is why we decided to set up the chill out room.

“When we found out we had secured the funding, I was quite taken aback. The whole process was seamless. I would recommend it to anyone in a similar situation.”

Charlotte Walker, from Variety, said: “Schools just don’t have the funding to pay for a space of calm that so many children of Long Eaton require.

“The impact that the funding has had has been incredible.

“I would highly recommend people apply for the Community Dividend Fund. It is easy to do, there are people on the end of phone who can help and it is set up benefit communities. The impact it can have can make a real difference.”

Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are handed out every three months to a wide range of applicants as part of the Community Dividend Fund.

The fund guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities.

People can apply for funding by visiting

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting

About The Author: Rob Smyth

Public relations

Promoting the great work of Central England Co-operative across all forms of media.