Over the past six years, Co-op members have helped to raise over £84m for over 25,000 causes, simply by choosing Co-op branded products and services and from today, local causes and groups in Harrogate have the chance to apply for funding.
The fund is continuing to support local organisations that are involved in providing access to food, helping to improve mental wellbeing or provide opportunities for young people and, for the first time, causes that are working to protect local biodiversity or tackle climate change.
Groups looking to deliver projects in any of these areas are being encouraged to apply online for the fund.
Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Membership at the Co-op, said: “Since the Local Community Fund began, we have raised an amazing £85m for grassroots causes, as a direct result from the support of our members."
When Co-op Members buy selected Co-op products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes into their Co-op Membership account.
The same amount is then given to support national community organisations through the Community Partnership Fund and local causes via the Local Community Fund.
Members can choose the causes they wish to support and, with the help of Co-op’s Community Wellbeing Index, go online to compare their community with 28,000 others across the UK.
By entering a postcode, the Index will reveal a community’s overall wellbeing score and indicate its performance across nine specific areas, including education, health and open spaces, helping members prioritise where to send their support.
Rebecca added: “Also by applying for the Local Community Fund, groups will join our online community centre, Co-operate, which can help them find additional resources, as well as further donations, making this not just a fund, but a partnership.
“Even if a funding application is not successful, the group will still be a part of a network of over 12,000 groups on Co-operate.
“And for the first time I’m so pleased to announce that we have extended the criteria to include causes that are particularly dedicated to helping tackle biodiversity and carbon reduction, from local community gardens to small scale renewable energy schemes.”
Causes wanting more information about applying for the next round of the Co-op’s Local Community Fund should visit coop.co.uk/causes
Applications close on Sunday, May 29.