Co-op’s early £37K Xmas present is boost for good causes across Bedford

MPMC Co Op membership card at Malvern with store manager Matt Baker ( holding cards ).
MPMC Co Op membership card at Malvern with store manager Matt Baker ( holding cards ).

Good causes across Bedford received an early Christmas present this week, when the Co-op revealed a £37,000 funding boost.

The money will be shared by 17 organisations including Cruse Bereavement Care Bedfordshire, Sharnbrook Scouts, and Autism Bedfordshire.

This is the latest round of payouts from the Co-op’s local community fund, and brings the amount it has invested in good causes in Bedford since the scheme launched in September 2016 to £68,000.

Rufus Olins, Director of Community and Campaigns at the Co-op, said: “It’s great to be delivering an early Christmas present to those communities and individuals that need it most.

“Making a positive contribution and making great things happen locally has been at the heart of The Co-op’s purpose since 1844, and the local community fund is a good modern example of this. Along with our members, we’re proud to be making a difference to hundreds, if not thousands, of local lives.

“Since the scheme launched Co-op members have helped to raise an amazing £20 million for 8,000 local causes nationally, but we want to do more, so the more people shop, the more good causes can earn. However, this is not just about giving money, it is about developing relationships with good causes in local communities, and over the past year we have been touched by hundreds of ways in which people have made their own communities better places to be.”

According to the latest figures from the Charities Commission just under 40 per cent of all charities have an income of less than £10,000. Therefore, the £2,750 average pay out will be a significant boost to funds for the 4,000 organisations that are receiving a payment from the Co-op.

When a member buys Co-op branded products from food stores or a funeral plan or funeral from Funeralcare they earn a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to a local good cause of their choice. They can now also earn on selected lines from Co-op’s online electrical business.

The Co-op has 4.6 million active members including 1,240,000 recruited since the new scheme began on 21 September 2016.

By joining the Co-op’s membership scheme shoppers can contribute to the money raised for the good causes, and they can choose which of these causes they wish to support by logging on to the Co-op’s membership website at www.coop.co.uk/membership .