Friday, 26 November 2010

Making a difference

A few years ago I had a job for a while raising money for a school for disabled children. If you want to talk about job satisfaction, let me tell you, the days I got to open envelopes offering me hundreds or even thousands of pounds were pretty good.

Community grant schemes can make a real difference in an area – and now the Co-operative Community Fund is looking for people to carry out positive work in the community.
The fund is made up of donations from Co-operative members who have chosen to give a percentage of their twice-yearly share of the profits. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country. 
The Co-operative Community Fund operates on a truly local level – with the money donated by members in each area given back to that region. Projects are allocated by postcode.

Grants vary from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £2,000. And if I had £2,000 to play with, I wouldn't mind installing a few of the new-style disabled accessible kissing gates on country walks. It's no fun lifting an off-road wheelchair over a stile, but we're lucky that we still can – a disabled adult out in the countryside might just have to turn back.

Groups have to apply for the funding – an application form is available on the Co-operative Community Fund website.

To be successful a group must:
  • Carry out positive work in the community (it does not have to have charitable status to apply)
And the project must:
  • Address a community issue
  •  Provide a long-term benefit to the community
  • Support co-operative values and principles
  • Ideally be innovative in its approach
The Cooperative Membership Fund
The Cooperative Membership Fund

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