Twenty-three good causes to receive vital support thanks to £26,400 funding boost from Co-op community fund

Posted by james brindle | Published: 03/08/2022

Central England Co-op has handed out £26,400 to 23 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, 171 good causes have shared over £235,000.

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

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:


Revive Healthy Living, Derby – £1,000 – to help purchase winter quilts to keep the children and young people they work with warm during the winter.

Kevin Burton from the organisation said: “Thank you to Central England Co-op for supporting the Revive Aid winter appeal, we really do appreciate it. The cost-of-living increases are going to bring the biggest drop in living standards that we have seen with many families pushed into fuel poverty and unable to afford household bills. Thanks to the grant we have received from the Co-op Community Dividend Fund, we have been able to buy 53, 16.5 tog winter quilts. These will help to keep our children and young people warm, during the cold winter months.”

Openwoodgate Pre-School – £500 – to help fund toys and resources for a sensory area at the nursery.

1st Hasland Rangers – £500 – towards van hire, fuel, food and equipment for camping.

Littleover Tennis Club – £320 – to pay for a replacement fridge for the clubhouse.

Friends of Birley Spa – £500 – to help purchase a ‘talking bench’ for their garden.

Fiona Milne from the group said: “We are working to bring our community together for the benefit of health and wellbeing through interaction with green space and nature. Birley Spa is a wonderful oasis, a hidden gem, tucked away in a valley, surrounded by a residential estate.

“There is much work going on in the garden and grounds to restore them to their former glory, following years of neglect. Thanks to this funding we can at last purchase the 'Talking Bench'. This will give us a place for people to come and have a chat, without feeling they have to be involved in the physical activities.

“A place to engage with others, to feel part of our community, to speak freely and be listened to. Thank you so much to Central England Co-op for making this happen, it's good to talk!”

Making Space Derby – £450 – towards room hire to help them restart a fortnightly craft group.

Liz Fairfield from the organisation said: “Derby Dementia Services were delighted to receive a grant from Central England Co-op. The money will be used to re start a fortnightly craft group that was suspended during Covid. 

“We have been unable to restart as the room in the local memory assessment unit we used free of charge is required for Covid catch up consultations until early winter. We found a venue we wanted to use but could not afford the room rental. 

“The group has materials and designs for decorative panels to display at the hospital to brighten it up and show the service users there what people living with dementia can achieve. All that was missing was a room to work in. This grant means that we can restart the group three months earlier than we had hoped and get on with the project they have been looking forward to.   

“It also gives us an early opportunity to run a pilot session for a craft and improvisation group for people with Young Onset Dementia, in partnership with Derby University, to assess its appeal.  Thank you for waving your magic wand to make this happen!”


Oundle Baptist Church – £1,500 – to help provide wraparound care and support for hosts and families under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Carolyn Gent, from the Church, spoke about how the funding will support this important project. She said: “Oundle Baptist Church is delighted and grateful to have received a Community Dividend Award from Central England Co-op for our Ukraine Wraparound Support work in Oundle and the surrounding villages.

“We are running a drop in cafe for hosts and their guests every Friday in Oundle, which is already well attended and reduces the sense of isolation that can be experienced by both groups. In addition, we are providing language support for adults at our Beginners’ English classes at the town Library, and for children in two of the local schools.

“Thanks to the funding received, we can also provide financial support to guests and hosts in the crucial early weeks. Many guests arrive with virtually nothing, and hosts incur significant costs in setting up placements and in bringing their guests here.

“There is then a delay before any government funding is received, which is where we can step in.  We are providing for practical needs - bikes, shoes and clothes, nappies and so on - to help our guests to feel welcome, to settle as swiftly as possible and to begin to feel at home despite the circumstances of their arrival here.

“In supporting hosts, we aim to strengthen placements. We are able to connect guests and hosts with one another, and to help them to navigate the various systems with which they need to engage. We are building relationships and walking with them. Thank you, Central England Co-op!”

Pink House Arts – £1,835 – to support weekly craft sessions for older adults in Oundle.

Caroline Kisby from the organisation said: “Pink House Arts CIC is extremely grateful to have been awarded funding by Central England Co-operative. The money will be spent on monthly Craft Club sessions for older adults, at two different venues in Oundle.

“During the various lockdowns we supported these groups with our monthly Activity Bags Project. Now we are able to return to face-to-face craft sessions this will make a huge difference to those attending, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation that some money people are still experiencing.”  

Corby Warriors – £750 – for new kits and equipment.

Aiden Phillips from the club said: “The Warriors plan spend the money on kits and equipment which will really help with the training sessions for all the ages groups. This funding will help the team of volunteers continue to provide football training which benefits many local children in the Corby area.”

Weston Favell Centre Food Bank – £1,000 – to help boost supplies for the food bank.

Oxley Primary School – £1,000 – to help revitalise the schools’ garden area.

Accommodation Concern Kettering – £2,000 – to help fund furniture for one of the charities four bedroomed supported accommodation houses.


Ratby Library and Community Group – £670 – to purchase kitchen equipment.

Volunteer Kathy Hammond said: “Ratby Library and Community Group were very happy to receive a grant from Central England Co-op as it has enabled us to buy a fridge-freezer and microwave oven. “We are now able to expand our range of food and drink, aiming to offer improved healthy eating options for the children and adults who visit our café. We applied under the food project criteria as it best fit what we are working towards in our village hub for children and all ages. Thank you so much.”

Leicester Wildecats Football Club – £1,564 – for new training bibs and to help fund new tournament for LGBTQ+ teams.

Chairperson Steven Crofts said: “I would like to thank Central England Co-operative for the grant money they have allocated to us.

“We will now be able to replace our training bibs which we have had for 20 years. The grant will also help us run our yearly tournament where we have LGBTQ+ teams from all over the country enter.”


Elohim Christian Church, Nuneaton – £1,000 – to support its school holiday hamper scheme.


Yorkshire Bike Shack CIC – £1,650 – towards support for the group’s work in the community.

Julian Pike from the group said: “By receiving the funding from Central England Co-op we will be able to teach some less fortunate people in the community how to repair their bikes.

“We enjoy working with people from all sorts of backgrounds and it often leads to some of them volunteering for us, so this funding means a lot to us. Ultimately it means more people travelling by bike, bringing better health and cutting down pollution.”

West Midlands

Katharine House Hospice, Stafford – £1,500 – to fund a new washing machine at the hospice.

Senior Fundraiser Kelly Day said: “Thanks to the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund we were able to purchase a new washing machine so we can wash our patients’ personal belongings when staying with us on the hospice in-patient unit.”

Birchfield String Orchestra, Sutton Coldfield – £1,400 – to help purchase new instruments.

Crafting for Communities, Stourbridge – £1,150 – to help provide 200 care bags for cancer and renal patients.

Lisa Maidment from the Group said: “We are so very pleased to have been awarded this grant. Because of this grant, we will be able to provide around 150 newly diagnosed cancer patients with a care bag full of useful, soothing and supportive handmade items, to try and make their journey to health a little bit easier.”

Gartmore Riding for the Disabled Association, Hammerwich – £1,000 – to support the charities work providing health and wellbeing skills for disabled children and adults.


Take Our Hand – £2,000 – to help fund bereavement care packages to young people aged 16-25.

Alex Gough from the organisation said: “We are so thankful to Central England Co-op for the award granted to us. The money provided will allow us to provide bereavement care packages to young people in need.

“Our care packages provide vital resources to help young people work through their grief and give them the tools they need to process their feelings. Without organisations like Central England Co-op we wouldn't be able to do what we do. Thank you!”

St Barnabas Counselling Centre Norwich – £2,500 – to help develop and deliver CPD sessions and for running costs.

The Locks Inn Community Pub, Geldeston – £610 – for play equipment for children.

Christine Pinsent from the pub said: “We are very pleased with the grant and will be putting this towards play equipment for children visiting with families in the garden at the pub.

“Most of our recent funding has been for the building refurbishment as it had not been touched for years so we are pleased that this can go to our younger visitors. We want to be inclusive and show that we have something for everyone. We do get a lot of families and felt that we had not done enough for them, so this means a lot.”


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.