Cash strapped local charities get £9m boost from Co-op members

18 April 2017

Thousands of cash-strapped grassroots charities across the UK today (18 April) received a multi-million pound funding boost from the Co-op.

As a result of the Co-op’s membership scheme £9m will be shared by some 4,000 good causes. Every time a Co-op member purchases an own brand product and service they receive a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to local charities.

All those one per cent rewards, plus the proceeds from the carrier bag charge in England, means the share out totals £9,196,992.62 with the average amount being £2,284.

The Co-op has 4.3 million active members including 750,000 recruited since the new scheme began on 21 September 2016.

While the total has been generated by sales of all Co-op own brand goods, an in-depth analyse of what members have purchased shows that a basket of everyday products alone has helped raise more than £1m.

Some of the most popular own brand goods bought by Co-op members and the amount they have helped raise for community good causes are:

Poduct Amount raised by one per cent reward
Milk £410,000
Chicken £165,000
Sandwiches £120,000
Soft Fruit £112,000
Potatoes £111,000
Grapes £82,000
Bananas £80,000
Apples £63,000
Bread £56,000

Chief Membership Officer Rufus Olins said:

“These Co-op products represent the most valuable shopping basket in the UK. Alone the ten most popular items have helped to raise more than £1m of the total £9m earned for local charities.

“By just buying everyday items our members not only enjoy a 5 per cent reward for themselves but they can make a real difference in their community. We are delighted that 750,000 have joined us since the scheme began because every new member shopping with us helps to boost the money raised for local charities.

“Many of the 4,000 good causes we are supporting operate on a shoestring so the money they will receive from the Co-op in the next few days will be vital.”

“The Co-op has always been community focussed. The original Rochdale Pioneers were motivated by the need to improve the living conditions of those within their local community and they also understood that values were just as important as value.

“By listening to our members we are able to identify what communities care most about and then offer support that really makes a difference and by working with and supporting local good causes great things are happening.”

The charities being supported by the Co-op include those designed to provide a social service such as helping to combat isolation and bereavement or others set up to support people with specific illnesses and conditions.

There are also self-help groups like luncheon clubs; Scout groups; walking clubs and brass bands while others, such as environmental groups, work to improve their local surroundings.

A fifth (22 per cent) of the charities to benefit from the first round of the Co-op’s membership scheme support young people while good causes in the area of social inclusion make up 17per cent and 15 per cent are involved with community development projects.

The 4,000 local charities that are receiving a pay-out and the amounts can be broken down into the following sectors:

Charity type Number of charities Amount raised by one per cent reward
Young People 886 £2,012,065
Social Inclusion 688 £1,643,191
Community Development 593 £1,263,243
Education & Skills 531 £1,079,018
Health 525 £1,266,959
Art & Culture 152 £325,947
Sport 138 £288,345
Environment 117 £245,406
Animal Welfare 102 £237,120
Other 317 £733,357

Media Contact

Dave Smith
Corporate PR Manager
0161 692 4285
07702152771
dave.smith@coop.co.uk