Festive funding boost for good causes

Christmas came early for local good causes across the Berwick area when the Co-op revealed a £77,000 festive funding boost to be shared by 23 organisations.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, 07:55
Belford Arts Festival organising committee was one of two lucky recipients of grants from the Co-op Community Fund. Alistair Bowell from the Co-op Society and Belford store manager, Michelle Young, presented a cheque to Fiona Renner-Thompson and Judy Mudd from Belford Arts Festival. The Arts Festival continues to grow and brings over 50 artists and craftspeople to Belford. The 2019 Arts Festival takes place on the weekend of 13th and 14th July. The organising committee are looking for volunteers to join the crew that help deliver this event. To volunteer, contact can be made via belfordcommunitygroup@gmail.com

Funding awards: Chirnside Civic Week £2,436.40, Bell View Silver Singers £2,717.84, Chin-Up £3,476.85, Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) £2,570.16, Duns Junior Football Club £5,429.41, Bell View £3,645.65, Duns Rangers £5,191.23, SHAK (Safe Homes & Kindness) £2,765.53, Seahouses Development Trust £3,537.12, Eyemouth & District Community Trust £3,330.62, Alnwick & Disrict Mencap £2,927.90, Berwick ARC £2,247.92, Belford Festival of Art and Culture (pictured) £2,774.69, Wooler Drop In £3,570.13, St Abbs Lifeboat £3,511.40, Connect Berwickshire Youth Project £3,259.42, Wooler Juniors FC £3,423.53, Coldstream in Bloom £2,841.69, Border Search and Rescue Unit £5,614.08, Coldstream Men’s Shed £2,730.06, 1st Coldstream Boys’ Brigade £2,758.65, Berwickshire Group RDA £2,514.34, Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team £3,690.06.

This is the latest round of pay outs from the fund generated by over 48,000 Co-op members in Northumberland, and means overall the Co-op has invested £163,000 in 70 groups in the Berwick area since the membership scheme launched in September 2016.

Co-op members, who receive a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to local causes when they buy own-brand products, have a say in how the money is allocated, and are encouraged to select the organisations they wish to support online.

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Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community Engagement at the Co-op, said: “Since the launch of the local community fund our members have helped 12,000 organisations to make a positive difference in their neighbourhoods, and in the last 12 months alone we have invested £19m in local causes.

“The fund is now supporting a wide variety of local organisations, from village halls and support groups to education providers and neighbourhood watch schemes, all of which are helping to make Berwick a better, happier, and healthier place to live.”

The Co-op has 4.65 million active members, including 1,800,000 recruited since the new scheme began on 21 September 2016, and over one million have already chosen which local group they want to support.