Co-op bags £5,000 for good causes

Staff at MacAulay Road Co-operative, Stornoway, celebrate raising �5,000 for charity through the retailer's carrier-bag charge fund.

Staff at MacAulay Road Co-operative, Stornoway, celebrate raising �5,000 for charity through the retailer's carrier-bag charge fund.

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The Co-operative in Stornoway has raised £5,000 for good causes through its carrier bag charge, and is calling on local causes and groups to contact them for a chance at funding.

Organisations across the Western Isles must go online by October 7 to be in with a shout at some of the funds. It’s understood that around 1,000 organisations across Scotland will receive grants of between £200 and £2,500 in what the retailer calls The Co-op Local Fund.

The shop is calling on local causes or community groups in Scotland interested in “carrying” away a share of the Co-op Local Fund to apply online by Wednesday, 7 October.

After groups have applied for funding, the Co-op will give its national members a chance to vote from a short-list of organisations and decided how the funds will be spent.

Steven Cooper is manager of the Co-op branch at Macaulay Road that has raised the £5,000.

Mr Cooper said: “Charity fund-raising is something we’ve always been proud of here at our Stornoway branch.

“We raise around £20,000 a year for local causes here, and as manager I’m proud that we’re not just about profit.

“The Co-operative continues to uphold the community-centred approach that made it unique when it started. This carrier bag fundraising initiative is just another example of our continued involvement in the community.

“People get the chance to decide where the money goes and that is a good part of this to me because it means the money goes to local causes.”

The grant will be split three ways in the amounts of £2,500, £1,500, and £1,000.

Richard Lochhead, Holyrood’s minister for Rural Affairs, Food, and the Environment, said: “I would like to commend The Co-operative for their support, and to encourage as many projects and local good causes as possible to apply.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“This scheme illustrates how the carrier bag charge is not only benefitting the environment, but it is also making a positive difference in the communities where the money has been raised.”

Groups wishing to apply for funding should visit www.co-oplocalfund.co.uk