SHOPPERS to Royton Co-op helped to raise more than £7,000 for two organisations, with three more in the running to benefit from a cash windfall next year.
The Local Community Fund (LCF) scheme has provided more than £20 million for nationwide projects since September 2016.
When members buy a Co-op branded product, one per cent of the money spent goes to their choice of the organisations while members also receive a five per cent reward.
Organisations and community groups can apply for financial help from the LCF, which is what the Royton Explorer Scouts and Vision, Youth and Community (VYC) Oldham did earlier this year.
As a result, the Scouts received £3,582 and VYC collected a cheque for £3,638.61.
The Scouts were off exploring and couldn’t receive their hand out in person.
But VYC’s Project Manager Aminul Hoque and Rashida Akhtar, volunteer co-ordinator, visited the Rochdale Road branch to meet store manager Rob Sobecki and Emily Walker, funeral care arranger from Royton Co-op funeral service.
Formerly known as the Oldham Bangladeshi Youth Association, the group changed its name a decade ago.
“We don’t just cater for Bangladeshi young people, we provide activities for children and young people across Oldham,” explained Aminul.
“But we also have family learning activities where children and parents work together, we have open access activities for over 50s and there are also female-only activities for women who feel intimidated or have cultural issues.
“Our big focus is enterprise and we have shown in Oldham we can do a lot of work on this, getting businesses and local professionals to benefit young people.
“When other groups were closing down or failing because of funding cuts, we focused towards enterprise so it was sustainable and people could receive more skills and get into jobs.”
This year’s Local Community Fund opened back in April and closed on November 11.
Now, three more groups have been nominated for the next round of funding which runs for 11 months: Dr Kershaws; Hebron Social Concern, Rochdale (to pay for youth worker to help offer more activities for young people); and Fir Bank Primary School, Royton (geocaching Treasure Hunt project).
Any money raised by Co-op members who don’t select a cause is added to the money raised from shopping bag sales and shared equally between the causes in their local area.
If you want to be one of the Co-op’s local causes you can next apply in spring 2018. For more details go online: https://causes.coop.co.uk