Over 100 charities and community groups share over £155,000 in 2020 thanks to the Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 31/12/2020

Central England Co-operative can today reveal that it has helped change the lives of 102 groups and charities – by donating £155,000 from its Community Dividend Fund in 2020.

A diverse range of projects picked from across 16 counties were handed a funding boost during the past 12 months, with the largest single amount given being £5,000.

Everyone from schools and churches to support groups and volunteer organisations benefited from the fund that guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive from the Midlands to the East Coast.

This year also saw the fund given an overhaul in the light of the ongoing pandemic in an effort to distribute funds quicker and to ensure it was supporting good causes impacted by Covid-19.

Grants were handed out to good causes in Birmingham, Stafford, Lichfield, Burton, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, Northants, Nottingham, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.

Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, said: “We have handed out £155,000 to projects in our communities in 2020.

“The Community Dividend Fund reflects a key principle of our Society, in that we reward the loyalty of our customers by investing in and supporting local communities.

“The scheme helps to benefit a wide variety of projects, which will make the local area that we serve a better place for our members to live, work and visit.

“This year, in response to the current crisis, we made some changes to our Community Dividend Fund scheme to provide immediate financial support for local good causes, community groups and charities who responded to some of the most worrying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are delighted to have been able to support these amazing causes and help them make a difference in our communities.

“I would like to urge all of our members to get in touch and put forward a community cause close to their heart for the Community Dividend Fund scheme during the coming 12 months.”

To apply, members will need: name, address, membership number, organisation type, organisation bank account or constitution and to explain what the group does, how the grant will be spent and the specific impact it will have related to COVID-19.

People can find out the full criteria and how to apply for funding by visiting https://www.centralengland.coop/community/


Notes to editors


Below is a breakdown of how much was handed out per county during 2020. Full list of recipients and quotes from all areas available upon request:


West Midlands (including Burton, Stafford and Lichfield)

  • A total of 28 groups and good causes shared out £44,320 during 2020



  • A total of 12 groups and good causes shared out £15,600 during 2020



  • A total of 12 groups and good causes shared out £14,450 during 2020



  • A total of 19 groups and good causes shared out £31,620 during 2020



  • One group was awarded £300 during 2020


Norfolk and Suffolk

  • A total of 16 groups and good causes shared out £29,546 during 2020



  • A total of five groups and good causes shared out £7,360 during 2020



  • A total of seven groups and good causes shared out £11,020 during 2020



  • A total of two groups and good causes shared out £3,600 during 2020



  • A total of four groups and good causes shared out £8,520 during 2020



Picture caption: Groups celebrate being awarded grants from Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund in 2020.


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,550 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop