Three Isle of Lewis groups have between them been awarded £4,500 from The Co-operative’s Community Fund.
Samaritans of the Western Isles has been awarded £2,000 towards rental costs; Commun Chroig, a senior citizens’ group, has been given £2,000 to provide coach hire for a trip to the mainland; and Stornoway’s Cairdean Og Allt nan Gall, which provides activities for elderly people, has received £500 towards the cost of a mainland trip.
The Community Fund, first established 15 years ago, is created by members of The Co-operative Group who elect to donate all, or part, of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme. The funds are then shared with local community projects and groups across the country.
Co-operative members receive a payment twice a year based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the Group’s businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.
Melanie Newdick, The Co-operative’s Membership Officer for Northern Scotland and Islands, said: “Because our members own the business, they get a share in any of the profits we make. It’s a scheme we’re very proud of, not only because it gives us the chance to thank members for shopping with us, but because so many people choose to give something back to local communities.
“There is over £300,000 available in Scotland each year from the Community Fund, and we welcome applications from local groups and projects for £100 to £2,000.”
Community Fund application forms are available online at www.co-operative.coop/communityfund or by phoning 0844 262 4001. Awards are allocated by local Co-operative members’ committees, based on a set of values and principles such as social responsibility and caring for others.