Norwich charities recieve funding boost

The Co-Operative, Earlham Road, Norwich staff member Laura Howard with members of Serve Norfolk ( l

The Co-Operative, Earlham Road, Norwich staff member Laura Howard with members of Serve Norfolk ( l to r): LLes Spencer, Angela Spencer, Robin Attlesey and Keith Grisedale. Picture: Tony Buckingham - Credit: Tony Buckingham

The Co-op has announced they will be distributing £34,000 amongst charities in Norwich.

The fund will be shared among 17 organisations, including Serve Norfolk, Norwich foodbank, Raptor Trust and Baby Bank Norwich.

The payment is the latest instalment from a community fund which launched in September 2016 and has now invested a total of £62,000 in Norwich charities.

Rufus Olins, director of community and campaigns at the Co-op, said: 'It's great to be delivering an early Christmas present to those communities and individuals that need it most. Making a positive contribution and making great things happen locally has been at the heart of The Co-op's purpose since 1844, and the local community fund is a good modern example of this. Along with our members, we're proud to be making a difference to hundreds, if not thousands, of local lives.'

The money has been raised by the Co-op's membership scheme, whereby shoppers are enabled to contribute 1pc of the money they spend on Co-op branded products towards a good cause of their choice.

Since the scheme launched, members have raised a total of £20 million for 8,000 national charities.

Profits accrued from carrier bag sales are also put towards the fund.

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However, Mr Olins is keen to point out that the scheme is about more than just the money.

He said: 'This is not just about giving money, it is about developing relationships with good causes in local communities, and over the past year we have been touched by hundreds of ways in which people have made their own communities better places to be.'

The Co-op chooses new causes every year and the latest round of funding has now come to a close, however, they will be receiving applications for next year's charities in spring.

On average, each cause received £2,750 from the community fund.

According to the latest figures from the Charities Commission, just under 40pc of all charities have an income of less than £10,000.

To become a Co-op member and choose the charity that you wish to support, visit Co-op currently has 4.6 million active members.