Community Cares Fund hands out a record £100K to good causes

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Throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 26 organisations are expected to receive money raised through the East of England Co-op’s Community Care Fund, which will directly benefit over 4,500 local people.

With concerns increasing over the cost-of-living crisis, the latest funding grant shows an increase in donations to organisations supporting the mental health of people in the East of England. Grants awarded to organisations which support mental health and wellbeing account for 76% in this round of funding – that’s compared to 54% in the previous campaign.

Helen Raven, Senior Community Manager at the East of England Co-op commented: “With this round of funding we have been able to respond to the profound need of those affected by the cost-of-living crisis. As we head into the more difficult winter months ahead, the mental health fallout from the financial difficulties many are expected to experience will be sharp. Many of the grants awarded will go directly to supporting vulnerable local people during this difficult time.”

Trish Riches, manager at Disability Advice North East Suffolk (DANES), which is one of the group’s benefitting from funding, said that the money will “enable us to support people, whose mental health is being adversely affected by the cost-of-living crisis.” The charity provides advice and support to those with disabilities and long-term health conditions in Lowestoft, Waveney and North-East Suffolk. Trish added “Disabled people are likely to be disproportionately affected by the rising costs of living. They may be on a lower income, not have the ability to manage their finances or even require the additional use of gas and electricity for specialist equipment. Through this project we can help 25 people on an individual basis improve their wellbeing by reducing levels of anxiety about their finances”.

Over half a million pounds has now been raised by the Community Cares Fund since it was launched in April 2020. East of England Co-op members and customers make a real difference to the fund, as it’s supplemented by money they donate. Helen Raven thanked members for their support, adding: “It continues to make a very real difference to people in your community. We urge other members and customers to donate in store – one easy option is to donate your dividend payment.”

Since the launch of the fund, the total amount given to organisations totals £591,000, which has been donated in grants of between £1,000 and £5,000. These are given to organisations across three pillars – community action, food justice, and mental health and wellbeing. Applications for the next round opens on the 19 September.

Congratulations to this round's recipients:

Action for Children, Disability Advice NE Suffolk (DANES), Felixstowe Creative Arts Trust, INVOLVE Active, Mid Suffolk Voluntary Organisations Forum, Suffolk Mind, Suffolk Young People's Health Project, The Art Station, The Compass, The Seagull Lowestoft CIC, Transforming Futures -  Suffolk, Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Young Carers Project, Harleston Information Plus, Henderson Trust, Nelson's Journey, SoulShine Healing Ltd, The Norwich Dandies, Camp Jojo, Clacton Pride, DNA Networks, Heads2minds, Little Explorers Pre-School, MAZE Group CiC, Stepping Stones Play & Learn Group (Colchester), West Mersea Lions, Open Road, Suffolk Community Foundation, Norfolk Community Foundation and Essex Community Foundation.