I may have told you in the past that my brother and sister in law run a sports and social club (which is kind of like a workingman’s club) in the North East of England. The club is in a very deprived area and recently the local steel works closed, who in the past has sponsored a lot of events at the club, but more importantly employed a lot of the locals too.Earlier in the year my sister in law, along with The Ladies of Steel (a group she is chairwoman of) decided that the area needed a youth group and they did something about it. Every Tuesday night in the club they hold an evening for the local youths aged between 8 and 15, where they can play snooker, do arts and crafts, play organised games and also have a boogie as the club DJ is involved too. The children only have to pay 20p per week. Since then they have gone on to form Classified (a dance troupe) and also are planning on holding a pantomime this year too. They have never received sponsorship or any income from The co-operative membership fund.
It is groups like this that the The Cooperative Membershipy Fund are looking to help. The Co-operative Community Fund is a grant scheme, which helps local communities throughout the UK with grants from £200 to £2000. The scheme is funded by generous members of The Co-operative donating some of their share of profits. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country.
To be successful a group must caarry out positive work in the community (it does not have to have charitable status to apply) and the project must address a community issue, provide a long-term benefit to the community, support co-operative values and principles and ideally be innovative in its approach.
Do you know a group or project that would be a worthy cause? The application form can be found on The Cooperative Membership Fund Website.