Retailer’s community fund provides essential hygiene packs to local youth foundation

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The East of England Co-op’s Community Cares Fund has provided £300 to the Karalius Foundation, an independent hub in Essex that delivers high-quality education to disengaged pupils, to enable them to purchase essential hygiene packs.

The Foundation is a legacy to Vince Karalius, Rugby League player and coach. Founded by Vince’s granddaughter, the Foundation provides an inclusive and innovative learning environment designed to empower young people and support positive progression into further education, apprenticeships and employment.

Adapting its services in response to COVID-19, the Karalius Foundation opened an emergency hub for 15 very vulnerable children who were unable to attend their normal residential schools in the wake of safety closures. The hub offers a vital lifeline during a time of great uncertainty, giving local teenagers a safe, nurturing environment.

Samantha Kershaw, Community Relations Lead, for the Karalius Foundation said;

“I would like to thank the East of England Co-op for their generosity. This will make a massive difference to the welfare of our children. The £300 will enable us to help support the children throughout the summer with hygiene packs and essentials".

The donation is one of the first made from the East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund, created to support community groups and charities across the region during, and after, the Coronavirus crisis.

Sharon Harkin, Community Engagement Manager for the East of England Co-op, said; “Last year, our members voted to support four important causes in our local communities. One of these focus areas was helping young people to thrive. Our donation to the Karalius Foundation is a great example of how we’re using our members’ mandate to support good causes and groups in our region. With the generous support of our members, the donation from our Community Cares Fund will help pupils to continue their learning and development in a safe environment, despite the challenges faced from COVID-19. This sense of stability for vulnerable pupils is invaluable."