More than £170,000 has been raised by co-operative colleagues and customers across Southern Co-op stores in southern England.
Thousands of pounds will be shared between 157 separate charities and good causes which were the 2021 local partners of The Co-operative Food stores.
The money was raised through collection pots and fundraising activities at the Southern Co-op stores and will be rounded up to make sure each charity receives at least £1,000.
Holly Bramble, Community Lead at the regional, independent co-operative, said: “Each of these local causes makes a difference in their local community. It is incredibly important to us, our colleagues and our members to make sure we support them in their efforts – whether that is a local school working to be more sustainable, or a charity which cares for people in need.
“So we’d like to thank every shopper who put their pennies in the collection pots and every colleague who organised a fundraising activity. It’s been a tough few years but it is wonderful to see people continuing to support each other where they can.”
More than £3,000 was raised at two stores for Dream-A-Way – an Exeter based charity helping to make dreams come true for Devon’s children and adults with disabilities or life affecting health conditions.
The store manager in Exmouth’s Exeter Road Daryn Liddel said: “We were able to raise the money by working closely with Dream-A-Way. I have helped personally clean their caravans for their guests and we have given donations to support them. Plus we have given them hampers and our great customers have put money into the collection tins. I am sure all the team will be delighted with this figure raised.”
Shelley Potter, ambassador and management committee member at Dream-A-Way, said: “We can’t thank you and your customers enough. Every single penny will let us help even more disabled people of any age.
“We have a terminally ill man who will be staying in one of our brand new caravans right by the sea spending some precious time with the family which is a free week with us thanks to your help.
“Dreams have come true for local families to have time to make some special precious memories for life which is very short. For some of our guests it’s their first ever holiday so your help and support means so much and pretty priceless for sure.”
Every year, each of Southern Co-op’s local food stores choose a local partner which aims to create greener, safer, healthier or more inclusive neighbourhoods.
Southern Co-op’s Love Your Neighbourhood programme also enables charities and local causes to apply for grants of up to £500 to help sow the seeds to a secure, stronger future for everyone.