Since it was established in April 2020, the East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund has donated grants between £1,000 and £5,000 to 163 projects, directly benefitting more than 95,000 people. 

Applications for our Community Cares Fund are currently closed, however if you're considering applying for future rounds please read the below information. 

Who can apply? 

You can apply for the East of England co-op Community Cares fund if you're a voluntary or community group, social enterprise organisation (VCSE) or charity looking to create or adapt services or activities to address local needs where the East of England Co-op trades. 

You must be based in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex or Cambridgeshire and within a reasonable distance of one or more of our stores or branches (meaning recipients are likely to be aware of or use our services). 

To find out where your nearest East of England Co-op Food store, Travel branch or Funeral branch is, click here to go to our store locator. Select the option for 'All branches'. 

You cannot re-apply to this fund in consecutive years. If you've received a grant from the Community Cares fund previously, there must be at least 12 months since your last end of grant report was received. 

What sort of projects do you support? 

We are particularly looking for applications from groups that are creating new services or are taking an innovative approach to adapting existing services and activities. 

From November 2023, the theme for our fund is 'community cohesion and integration' and aims to support people in playing an active part in our communities to reduce barriers and inequalities and improve social contact and experiences. 

Funded projects will need to show that they're working towards one or more of the following outcomes: 

  • Improved access to social activities for all
  • Reduction in feelings of isolation and improved wellbeing
  • Supported people into education or employment
  • Provided information, advice or guidance to maximise income
  • Evidence of partnership working or alliance formation 

What grants do you provide? 

We award grants of between £1,000 and £5,000. 

We will only consider applications where the East of England Co-op are funding 30% or more of costs. 

What else do I need to know?

Applicants to the East of England Co-op Community Cares fund will need to have: 

  • A management committee of at least three members
  • A governing document/constitution with a dissolution clause
  • A bank account with two unrelated signatories living at separate addresses, who must both sign for all withdrawals
  • An equal opportunities policy
  • Annual accounts
  • Management accounts (if your accounts are less than six months old) which show income, expenditure, reserves (split by restricted and unrestricted)
  • Relevant safeguarding policies if you're working with young people or vulnerable adults

The East of England Co-op Community Cares fund is administered on our behalf by Suffolk Community Foundation working with Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Community Foundations.  

By applying to the East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund you agree to share your data with the East of England Co-op and the Community Foundations and understand that you may be contacted for publicity purposes. 

Successful applicants will be required to take part in marketing activities with us to promote the East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund and the work the group is undertaking in the community.