East of England Co-op celebrates new Cambridge North food store by expanding £220,000 community fund
The East of England Co-op is opening a new food store near Cambridge North station tomorrow (Thursday) - and it is celebrating by announcing that its £220,000 community funding pot is now open to more community groups.
The store, in the One Cambridge Square development, is the retailer’s second Cambridgeshire food store, following the opening of its first in Waterbeach in August.
The organisation - which is separate from the Co-op Group - has a Community Cares Fund that has donated between £1,000 and £5,000 to 163 projects since it was established in April 2020.
The fund aims to support people playing an active part in communities to reduce barriers and inequalities and improve social contact and experiences.
Its criteria have now been broadened meaning that for the first time, Cambridgeshire-based voluntary or community groups, social enterprise organisations (VCSE) or charities can apply.
Doug Field, CEO of East of England Co-op, said: “As a community retailer and a co-operative, supporting others is at the heart of what we do. We’re proud to have over 150 years of history giving back to local communities through our outreach programmes, fundraising and community support initiatives.
“Since 2020, our Community Cares Fund has been integral to this, and has enabled us to help brilliant people who work within communities to support others. What a wonderful achievement to have directly impacted more than 95,000 people as a result.”
Angela Carpenter, community support manager at the East of England Co-op, added: “This year, we have changed the focus of the funding, and set clear outcomes for projects to work towards. We hope this will make the fund even more accessible for a wide and diverse range of community projects, with the shared goal of improving the lives of people in our local area.”
Projects recently supported by the fund include a grant of £4,000 for Clacton Pride, to support the cost of rent and furnishing for an LGBTQ+ support organisation in Clacton, and £5,000 for Camp Jojo to help pay the core costs of an organisation offering camping weekends on Mersea Island to families with a child with disabilities.
Visit https://www.eastofengland.coop/community-cares-fund for more details or two apply.