Southern Co-operative has launched regional partnerships with disability charity, Scope and the Wildlife Trusts, donating £40,000 to each as part of a new community scheme to address local concerns across southern England.
The £172,000 raised in the first six months of the 5p carrier bag levy will go towards The Southern Co-operative’s new community initiative, Love Your Neighbourhood.
Jessica Hughes, Communications and Community Engagement Manager for The Southern Co-operative says they are pleased with the 71 per cent reduction of single-use carrier bags in their stores, adding: “However, the 5p levy has helped us to raise over £172,000 towards our Love Your Neighbourhood programme to help support our local communities, and we are pleased to announce that 100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated because we believe that these funds belong back in the communities that helped to raise them.”
Jessica explained that the scheme seeks to address four key issues identified following a survey of over 4,500 members and customers; ‘greener’, ‘safer’, ‘healthier’, and ‘more inclusive’ neighbourhoods. “This will be addressed by our regional partnerships, as well as multiple local partnerships between our food stores, funeral homes and local causes of their choice,” she said. “We have already helped a number of local causes with the carrier bag funding since we launched our pilot for our new programme in January; we are now looking forward to helping even more local groups.”
For the next cycle of funding, local groups will be able to apply through the Love Your Neighbourhood scheme in food stores and funeral homes to address the same four key themes. Local charities and community groups can also apply for goods in kind donations, to become a local fundraising partner and local volunteering. Visit: www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/makingadifference/love-your-neighbourhood.