Lincolnshire Co-operative's Community Champions scheme to benefit charities
Customers across Lincolnshire will help to raise cash for their community – just by doing their shopping.
Lincolnshire Co-operative is launching a new scheme which will see it donate thousands of pounds to a variety of causes.
The Community Champions scheme is linked to the Co-op’s Dividend Card.
From March 3, every one of the 210,000 card holders will be linked to one of 80 good causes close to where they live.
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The good causes will change every three months.
Whenever a customer uses their dividend card, whether in a foodstore, travel branch, pharmacy or any other service – a percentage of money from the Community Champions pot will go towards their local good cause.
People will always be able to find out who their Community Champion is by looking at their receipt when they shop or by checking out the displays in their local branch.
Every three months, the total raised for each Community Champion will be totted up. Each group will get a cheque or some vouchers to put towards its projects and a new set of Community Champions will start raising funds.
As well as being one of the 320 Community Champions picked for local outlets each year, there is a second way that charities and community groups can get support.
There will be a central list of charities and good causes that people can choose to make their Community Champion all year around. At the end of the year, Lincolnshire Co-op will add up all the money raised for local groups on that list and pay out the total.
The Community Champions scheme will give out an estimated £200,000 a year and there’s no limit to the amount that can be raised – though the total for each group will depend on how many members shop during that period.
Membership and community manager Sam Turner said: “We think Community Champions will make more people aware that we share our profits with not only our members but also their communities. It’s such an important part of who we are so it’s something we want to promote.
“Community Champions will also make sure that the money we give out is shared fairly across the trading area, with 80 different groups benefitting every three months, spreading out from Scunthorpe to Spalding and from Newark to Skegness.
“It also gets the charities and community groups more involved with the process. They can make a real difference to the amount raised by rallying their supporters and getting them to use their dividend cards.”
The Community Champions for each area will be picked by Lincolnshire Co-op’s ten area members groups, made up of dividend card holders from across the area.
Because Community Champions is a big scheme, it has been trialled in two Lincolnshire Co-op outlets – Caistor Foodstore and Cambridge Road Foodstore in Grimsby.
One group to benefit from the trial scheme was Caistor Lawn Tennis Club. Shoppers in Caistor area raised £870 for the group while it was a Community Champion.
The club’s social secretary and fundraiser Chris Carver said the money was a “real windfall”.
“We’re a small club and we rely on fundraising,” he said. “The Community Champions money is being spent on new equipment for juniors including nets, rackets and balls. We need a constant supply of balls and they don’t come cheap.
“Being able to buy that essential equipment means our own fundraising has gone into a project we’ve been looking at for a while – repainting the courts. We’re really grateful for what we’ve received.”