Co-op membership programme delivers millions to charity

Thousands of local charities, volunteer groups and community organisations are sharing a £15 million funding boost raised through the Co-op’s membership programme.

The retail giant vowed to double the amount raised next year, with an anticipated donation in 2021 of £30 million.

More than 4,500 local groups, chosen by almost 750,000 Co-op members, will share the windfall this month.

New research by the Co-op among 28,000 communities showed the biggest concerns included food poverty, unemployment, mental health and  youth inequality.

Co-op Group chief executive Steve Murrells said: “The devastating impact of Covid has shone a light on some of the inequalities which exist in our country.

“As a business which was founded to share the value we create with our members and their communities we feel a duty to act and strive to support the recovery of those in greatest need.

“National and local causes will receive around £15 million this year from Co-op and our support will double in 2021.”

Matt Atkinson, the Co-op’s chief membership and customer officer, added: “Our study has revealed that as unemployment rises we see a major knock-on impact in communities as food poverty increases and mental health worries deepen and the impact is disproportionately felt by the young.

“The nation feels that support services to tackle these issues have deserted them. It’s why Co-op is doubling its community support to help grassroots community projects and aims to work with like-minded organisations to make positive lasting change on issues like access to food, mental wellbeing support, and education and employment for young people.”

The Co-op has doubled the amount it provides to support communities to 2p in every pound that members spend on its products and services.

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