The fact there’s a Co-operative in nearly every town across the UK is a good thing. However, our stores and branches are also there to help make good things happen in the local communities they serve. These are just some of the ways we go about it.
The Co-operative Membership Community Fund
So far, Co-operative Members have donated over £15 million to make good things happen in their community. They’ve done this by donating their share of the profits to the Community Fund. This is our scheme that helps community groups, local clubs and self-help organisations to continue doing the good work they do.
Because the money raised in your local area stays in your area, you get to see first hand the effects of your generosity. Groups can apply for grants of up to £2000 and use the money to fund anything from new equipment to sports gear, travel costs or rent.
The Co-operative Foundation
The Co-operative Foundation is an independent charitable trust set up in 2000. The Foundation's current grant making programme, Truth about Youth, is aiming to challenge and change negative perceptions about young people, by working with seven charities in cities around the UK.
We support the creation and growth of co-operative businesses, through The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which provides expert advice on the practicalities of running a co-operative business, from legal implications to membership structures. Start-up and existing co-operatives can access free advice and support, including up to four days of specialist consultancy, and a package of grants and loans.
The Co-operative Loan Fund
The Co-operative Loan Fund works closely with The Co-operative Enterprise Hub to support co-operatives throughout the UK, through the provision of accessible, ethical loan finance.
It exclusively lends to co-operatives and is entirely funded and run by co-operatives, so unlike many conventional lenders it truly understands and actively supports democratically owned and controlled enterprises. The Co-operative Loan Fund is willing to make unsecured loans and does not ask for personal guarantees.
Other Ethical Plan goals
We’ll ensure that at least 10% of the profits available for distribution are made available for community investment in 2013. We also promise that £5 million will be provided to tackle UK poverty around and stores and branches.