Funding boost in store thanks to Co-op’s Local Community Fund

A FUNDING boost lies in store for groups, organisations and charities across Shaw, Royton and Crompton thanks to Co-op’s Local Community Fund.

Last year, Co-op delivered £15 million to more than 4,500 local causes and community organisations nationwide through the initiative.

The scheme allows Co-op members to go online to choose which cause in their community to support. Then when they purchase selected products with their membership card, a donation is given to their chosen cause.

This year, Co-op is doubling the amount they give when members shop in their stores, so 2p for every £1 spent goes back to the community. Funding will be given in two parts in March and November.

Stores across the areas have three local causes to choose from: Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Friends of Firbank Primary School and Oldham Metro Rotary Club.

Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) is a registered charity which, using the power of football, works with the local community to provide positive opportunities through sport.

Trevor Bowskill, Co-op Member Pioneer who works closely with OACT, said: “The Trust has applied for £4,000 of funding in order to launch our new project FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

“We want to create community gardening hubs across Oldham to help the people grow their own food, learn to garden, eat healthy and provide healthy food for communities.

“We also hope the initiative will bring older and younger generations together with supervision by the Trust and assistance from local schools.

“The first school we will collaborate with will be in Rushcroft. A meeting will take place over the next few weeks with the school, the Trust and myself to bring forward the project.”

Friends of Firbank Primary School (FFPS) aims to increase the funds available to the school, in Royton, to encourage community use of the building.

They also help to raise funds for items in school and its grounds as well as to support the learning curriculum.

Lindsay Harrop, of the FFPS, said: “We were thrilled to receive our first round of funding which was an incredible donation of £5,904.44.

“This enabled us to support Fir Bank School to develop a new library, nurture room and an aquarium for the reception area.

“The library is a beautiful space where children can develop their love of reading and enhance their literacy skills. It also provides a quiet area for children to experience sensory stimulation.

“The nurture room promotes a feeling of calm safety and mindfulness and is used by children, staff, parents and visitors.

“The aquarium is a welcoming space where the children learn about the care and development of the fish. It also creates opportunities to support language development and social skills.

“We have recently received a second round of funding, which will be used to develop our outdoor play area, this is a work in progress.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Co-Op and its customers to have given us the chance to develop these special learning areas.”

Oldham Metro Rotary Club is actively engaged with their local community and international causes, living out their ‘Service above Self’ motto to support a wide range of projects and charities.

Rotarian Jack Wild said: “We are been very lucky to be starting our fourth year of benefiting from the generous Co-op Community Fund.

“Over the previous three years we have gratefully received an average of about £3,000, and we use the funds to the benefit of local charities and organisations throughout Oldham.

“Such causes as youth groups, wellbeing for young people, young carers, struggling families, under privileged people, homeless people, social and welfare clubs and family crisis needs.

“These monies augmented with our own funds help to extend, enhance and improve our work to reach and we hope, the results we achieve.

“Receiving the Co-op funding means a great deal to our Club especially where our usual income streams have dried up.”

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