1 Dec 2010

Co-operative Community Fund

The Cooperative Membership Fund

The Cooperative Membership Fund

At work I teach 'Community Action' which is all about teaching my learners about their local community and how they can be a part of it (for the good, not hanging in gangs terrorising people!).

Do you know that most of my learners did not know what their local community centre is for!  OK I'll admit I know about mine as I hired the hall once and had a good read of the notice board while I was in there, plus I am very nosy and like to read the local paper incase I know someone .... so it was a bit of a shock to realise that none of my group had ever used the facilities that are there for them.

The Co-operative Community Fund is a grant scheme, which helps local communities throughout the UK. Thousands of clubs, community groups and local charities have benefited. Please see accompanying videos, photos etc.

The scheme is funded by generous members of The Co-operative donating some of their share of profits, which is then given away in the form of small grants. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country. To qualify for a grant projects must address a community issue, provide long term benefit to the community, support co-operative values and principles & be innovative

There are some great stories happening in local communities and The Co-operative supports those stories and helps them to happen.

This campaign really demonstrates our core co-operative values of giving back to the communities that we serve. 

My groups have had to take part in two local community projects, with the time allowed and the level of ability of my learners we have kept their projects within the college building ... but they have had a good go at them and have enjoyed the teamwork part of their projects.  Their first group was to combat littering in the college grounds, they made a team name and logo, found troublesome areas then worked together to clean up and make the areas nicer.  The second task is all about smoking, not just putting up no smoking signs, bit also supporting those who do smoke to find the nearest smoking area.  The students are enjoying being part of a group that helps others .. which is what community groups are all about.

The co-operatives scheme is brilliant as it gives areas and groups an incentive to create community groups and do good things for their area. 


Image above is a group who have benefited from the scheme

What is The Co-operative Community Fund?

The fund is made up of donations from our members who have chosen to give a percentage of their twice-yearly share of the profits. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country

The Community Fund is a registered charity and is governed by The Co-operative Community Investment Fund (CCIF). This board of trustees are responsible for ensuring funds to projects are given in line with the Charities Commission guidelines.

The Co-operative Community Fund operates on a truly local level.  The money each region has to give is the money that members have donated in their area. Projects are allocated by postcode..

Grants vary from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £2,000.

Groups have to apply for the funding – application form is available on our website.

For this campaign:

Please include the following information about the Co-operative Community Fund:

- To be successful a group must:

  • Carry 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

  •  Ideally be innovative in its approach

The application form is available on the website: http://www.co-operative.coop/membership/local-communities/community-fund/onlineapplicationprocess/ 

I will definitely be telling my students about this project - maybe they could run a group and gain from this scheme, I hope so.

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