Members of groups across Leicestershire celebrated being handed their grant from the Central England Co-operative Community Dividend Fund.
Schools, football clubs and good causes were among those who shared the payout, with a total of over £44,000 handed out to 25 good causes across 16 counties from the retailer’s Community Dividend Fund.
St Joseph’s Catholic Voluntary Academy will use £5,000 to create seated areas across its play areas, new litter and recycling bins and some replacement play equipment.
Sharon Marton, school council co-ordinator, said: “The tree benches and the recycling bins will make a such a huge difference to the children of St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy.
“The play areas will become vibrant fun areas for the children and will also encourage and teach the children to more environmentally friendly. We can't wait for all this to become a reality once spring arrives.”
A total of £2,664 has been handed to Norton Housing and Support for vital cooking equipment to allow people with mental health needs and pregnant homeless women to learn about healthy eating and how to cook better.
More people than ever will be able to stop and watch the multiple number of teams who play under the Bottesford Football Club banner after it was awarded £2,500 to pay for a vital extension to its car park.
The club has 12 pitches and has 29 teams in total.
Nick Dobney, from Bottesford Football Club, said: “The Central England Co-op store has only been open in Bottesford for a couple of months and we are therefore delighted that they have chosen Bottesford Football Club as one of the first beneficiaries of the Community Dividend Fund.
“We are a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers offering football to approximately 400 local people so funding of this nature is vital to the club to enable us to improve our facilities. “Everyone at the club would like to thank the Central England Co-op for their support.”
Groups Altogether Men in Sheds, based in South Wigston, will have an array of new tools following a grant of £1,400.
Rob Elliott, from then group, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Central England Co-op for the kind donation.
“It will make a big difference to our existing members and enable us to increase membership in the future.”
Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are handed out every three months to a wide range of applicants.
The fund guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive across its trading area of 16 counties from the Midlands to the east coast.
People can apply for funding by visiting https://communities.centralengland.coop/
Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.
Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing email@example.com or visiting https://www.members.coop