One hundred and fourteen groups share over £177,885 in 2019 thanks to the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of 114 groups and charities – by donating £177,885 from its Community Dividend Fund in 2019.

A diverse range of projects picked from across 16 counties were handed a funding boost during the past 12 months, with the largest single amount given being £5,000.

Everyone from schools and churches to support groups and volunteer organisations benefited from the fund that guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive from the Midlands to the East Coast.

Grants were handed out to good causes in Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northants, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Bedfordshire and Yorkshire.

Among the grants awarded were:

  • Visitors to Willington Nature Reserve will soon be able to take in everything from ducks to dragonflies all year round after the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was awarded £2,000 to pay for a brand new log cabin. The building will be used as an all-weather visitor information centre.
  • In Cambridgeshire, lifesavers from Magpas Air Ambulance will be wearing brand new flight suits when heading across the East of England and beyond to support the emergency services after receiving £2,000.
  • In Leicestershire, a total of £5,000 has been handed to St Matthews Big Local to help the community hub completely rebuild its toilets to help more than 2,000 residents and 200 volunteers who use the building all year round.
  • In Norfolk and Suffolk 4,420 has been handed to Edfords Care Farm, in Mautby, to build a bespoke area of the site to cater for youngsters with special education needs.
  • In Northamptonshire, Action for Asperger’s, based in Corby, has been awarded £4,050 to pay for the creation of special bags filled with sensory toys as part of its work offering specialist autism counselling for all ages.
  • Birmingham Crisis Centre has been handed £3,500 to pay for the complete refurbishment of one of its accommodation units, which provide a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for female victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, said: “We have handed out £177,885 to projects in our communities in 2019.

 “The Community Dividend Fund reflects a key principle of our society, in that we reward the loyalty of our customers by investing in and supporting local communities.

“The scheme helps to benefit a wide variety of projects, which will make the local area that we serve a better place for our members to live, work and visit.

“I would like to urge all of our members to get in touch and put forward a community cause close to their heart for the Community Dividend Fund scheme during the coming 12 months.”

People can apply for funding by heading online to


Notes to editors


Full details and quotes from groups in the following areas are available upon request: Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northants, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Bedfordshire and Yorkshire


Picture caption: Groups celebrate being awarded grants from Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund in 2019.


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


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 member activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

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


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


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