Co-op Members play an incredibly important role in delivering our vision – ‘Co-operating for a fairer world’. One of the main ways they do this is through our Co-op Local Community Fund. Over the past five years, our members have supported more than 25,000 local causes, all working to make our communities fairer.

Since 2016, with the help of our members, we’ve raised £100 million to support local communities across the UK.

Director of community and shared value, Rebecca Birkbeck, looks at how funding raised by Co-op Members and customers is making a difference across the UK in 2021.

It’s been another incredible year for our Local Community Fund, which continues to improve the lives of so many people. We hear directly from our causes about how tough the last couple of years has been, how they’ve needed support more than ever and how Co-op Members have enabled them to continue their fantastic work. It’s a real honour to share some of their stories.

Supporting young people with the skills and opportunities they need

The Edinburgh Food Social initiative equips young people in Edinburgh with skills to work in the food and drink sector. With our support, the brilliant team at Edinburgh Food Social helps those most at risk of unemployment and isolation, providing them with cooking skills and education on local, sustainable food. They also work to develop an understanding of people’s career goals, and help in building the skills to achieve them. The Local Community Fund, with support from Co-op Members, has raised over £3,500 for the Edinburgh Food Social.

Supporting mental wellbeing in frontline workers 

Frontline workers have played an indispensable role throughout the pandemic, and the pressure placed on them has taken its toll on their mental wellbeing. Recognising this, our members have donated funds to Stable Lives in Wigan, a cause that provides a place of solace for those affected by mental trauma. Historically, the charity focused on supporting military veterans, blue light workers and children, but now its services have been expanded to include frontline key workers. Over £6,000 has been raised by Co-op Members to support this community mission.

Helping young people get the skills and opportunities they need

Young people are amongst those most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, with 43% reporting higher levels of anxiety since it began. We’re supporting charities like Mahdlo Youth Zone in its provision of round-the-clock assistance for the young people of Oldham and surrounding areas. Mahdlo’s qualified youth workers host weekly health and wellbeing workshops to help support emotional wellbeing, social skills and raising aspirations. Co-op Members raised over £4,000 supporting even more young people in the local area.

Wondering how you can get involved?

Co-op Members have raised £100 million to support communities across the UK. Become a Co-op Member and make a difference in your area when you choose Co-op. As a Co-op Member, you can select which local causes you’d like to support, and receive special deals for yourself through the Co-op app.

Before 30 November 2021, as a Co-op Member, if you buy Scalini Prosecco, 75cl (£6), and/or Fox’s Fabulously, 500g (£3), we’ll donate £1 from each bottle or box sold to the Co-op Local Community Fund.

You can also get involved in events and activities in your local community. Co-operate, our online community centre, has everything that is happening locally to you. There’s no shortage of events across the country for all ages – including children – such as Walk and Talk in Eastbourne, Adapt Youth Inclusive Dance in Plymouth, All People Active Friday Football in Milton Keynes, and hundreds more!

Rebecca Birkbeck

Director of community and shared value

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Can I nominate Primrose Day Centre for some of your charity awards. It’s local to your Co-op in Ormiston, East Lothian EH35. Most of the clients and their families shop in the Co-op every day. Thank you

  2. The coop have dumped our school after only 1 year as others have this needed help for YEARS Who picks??

  3. Lets hope you are always affluent and never need your communities help.

  4. Yes, other Supermarkets as mentioned are cheaper than the Co-op but do not have the same ethical standards we would wish them to have and I would pay that extra to help others less fortunate. I believe that the Co-op does a lot for people in this situation not only in the UK but also overseas. The issue of poverty in this country must surely partly lie on the government and its harsh policies which have left some families struggling.

  5. What a selfish, small minded response this is. Ignore it.

  6. I do not want my money to go to Co-op-determined charities. I deplore this ‘community’ ethos. Co-op has raised its prices such that it is cheaper now to buy many items in Waitrose or M and S. Lower your prices, stop spending my money on ‘community’ projects in which I have no stake, remember that our taxes pay for the welfare state, and pay for security staff at the shop exits so ‘customers’ don’t routinely walk out of our local shop with £500 worth of goods. Co-op staff are not allowed to stop them. Is that what you support? Is that ‘community activity’? Wake up, Co-op. Check your prices against local stores. And stop pouring my money into the pockets of the incompetent and feckless. There is no reason for any family to be hungry in modern Britain.

    • Deeply unpleasant person….delighted I won’t bump into you in the Co Op….heads up…the Co Op was founded by socialists…you are clearly a right wing nasty party member….

    • I have to agree on some of what you are saying i like to help local communities but where do, they get off donating £9.000 to voluntry peoplemaking your village look pretty , and i have seen the check in our l9cal shop on display, the council should be paying this not the Co-op.

    • I’m not sure why the person who is so unhappy with the Co-op’s charity scheme doesn’t just shop elsewhere? There are plenty of other shops that care more about the bottom line and less about ethics and the wellbeing of their staff… that’s kind of the point.


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