Over £200,000 in grants available to organisations in East Anglia through East of England Co-op’s Community Cares Fund

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The region’s largest independent retailer is awarding grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to support charities and organisations supporting people in its trading areas across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The East of England Co-op has allocated over £200,000 to its Community Cares Fund to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that are creating or adapting services or activities that will have a positive impact in their communities. 

The East of England Co-op set up its Community Cares Fund in April 2020 in response to the pandemic to provide much needed support to local organisations. Supplemented by generous East of England Co-op members, the Fund grew to over £370,000.  

In the year since it launched, the Community Cares Fund has supported foodbanks helping families at crisis point, young victims of domestic violence and unpaid carers looking after friends, family and neighbours through lockdown. 

The next round of funding is now open for applications. The East of England Co-op has made over £200,000 available which will be added to by its members who choose to donate their dividends later this year. The day-to-day administration of the Fund will be carried out by Suffolk Community Foundation and distributed by Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex Community Foundations on behalf of the East of England Co-op. 

Niall O’Keeffe, Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op, said: “Supporting the communities we serve is deep-rooted in our values as a co-operative. As a community retailer we have always invested heavily in supporting local people, so the Community Cares Fund is something we’re proud of as it allows us to be much more responsive to the needs of our communities.  

“When we first launched the Community Cares Fund it was to respond to the collective crisis our region was facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. When we saw the difference we were able to make with the fund, we knew it was something we wanted to continue. 

“If you are one of the many inspirational people in our community working to make a positive difference to people’s lives, I’d encourage you to find out more about our Community Cares Fund and see if you are eligible to apply for a grant” 

East of England Co-op’s Community Cares Fund is open to grant applications from voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, charities and parish councils that are creating or adapting services or activities that will have a positive impact in the communities where the East of England Co-operative trades in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Funding applications should address at least one of these key areas: 

  • Community action – including the development of physical and virtual spaces and services that bring communities together. 
  • Mental health and wellbeing 
  • Food justice for all – including access to, and sharing knowledge about good quality, nutritious food. 

To find out more about the East of England Co-op Community Cares fund and how to apply visit: www.eastofengland.coop/community/community-cares-fund  

The East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund is just one of the ways the retailer supports its local communities. Funds are also available for groups, charities and teams looking for smaller donations such as raffle prizes and refreshments for events and sponsorships.