See how our Community Dividend Fund is making a difference for people in need in Derbyshire

Posted by Rob Smyth | 25/06/2018 | Category: Community

A special film has been created to showcase a South Derbyshire project launched to provide a vital breakfast and laundry club for homeless people in the area.

Last year, Central England Co-op provided £4,160 from its Community Dividend Fund to support South Derbyshire Mental Health Association, based at Bank House, in Alexandra Road, Swadlincote.

The grant paid for items such as a washing machine and tumble dryer, washing supplies and toiletries.

The free project now sees the centre open an hour earlier each day to allow people to use the vital equipment and supplies.

Now it is up and running, Central England Co-op returned to take a look at the project in action and to speak to the people who ensure this vital service is now on offer for people in need.

Jon Shillabeer, from the project, said: “Bank House is a free to access drop-in centre for any adult with any mental health issue. We currently see between 30 to 60 people on a daily basis and our age range is 17 to 91.

“The project is one that is aimed at people who are homeless or who have a chaotic lifestyle and who might not have washing or cooking facilities at home.

“We wanted to open an hour early every day to allow people to have some breakfast, have a wash and wash their clothes.

“Then, when these issues have been addressed, we can start to help them look at other problems they might be facing.

“Since we launched the project it has been well received and is growing by the day.

“A project of this size and scale obviously needs funding and we first became aware of the Community Dividend Fund after seeing a post on Facebook.

“One of our fund-raising volunteers is a member of Central England Co-op and so we put together a proposal.

“It was a simple process online. We explained the project, what we needed and the potential impact it could have in the local area.

“The grant from the Community Dividend Fund was a massive boost and it gave us the security of being able to go and buy the supplies needed to ensure this vital project could go ahead.

“We are a great example of how a grant like this can go a long way to helping people in need.”

The roll-out of the project comes just a matter of months after the vital centre was saved from closure after it secured funding for it to continue running for another three years.

In the past 12 months, the Society has donated over £14,000 to seven good causes and charities in Burton and South Derbyshire.

Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are handed out every three months to a wide range of applicants.

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.