Today I would like to tell you about the Cooperative Community Fund. It is a grant scheme that helps local communities throughout the UK to make it a better place to live for everyone. Since the Cooperative Group started the initiative, thousands of clubs, community groups and local charities have benefited. Committed and generous members of The Co-operative Group who want to help improve the lives of others donated part or their entire share of the profits and this year the Community Fund gave away £1.2 million in donations. The projects are allocated by postcode so the money that members have donated in their area goes back into their local region.
To make a difference in the community, groups can apply for £100 to £2000 and to qualify for a grant, The group applying must carry out positive work in the community, although it does not have to have charitable status. The project must address a community issue, provide long term benefit to the community, support co-operative values and principles and, ideally, be innovative in its approach.
In my own area we have several playgrounds designed for small children (under 10) but nothing for the older kids who end up either hanging around on the streets or in the younger children' facilities causing problems and noise for the residents. I would love to be able to raise enough money, maybe through the Community Fund, to help our local council provide a fenced sports court to give the teenagers somewhere to play football or basketball safely without disturbing the neighbourhood, this would also provide the added benefit of giving them a healthier lifestyle through more exercise.
If you have any ideas of your own to improve your local community and you are having difficulties in raising money then please visit, http://www.co-operative.coop/membership/local-communities/community-fund/onlineapplicationprocess/ for more information and for an application form and this fund may make your ideas into reality.