Do you know of a community project in your area that could benefit from a grant?
The Co-operative Community Fund is a grant scheme, which helps local communities throughout the UK. Thousands of clubs, community groups and local charities have benefited.
The scheme is funded by generous members of The Co-operative donating some of their share of profits, which is then given away in the form of small grants. 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. The money each region has to give is the money that members have donated in their area.
To qualify for the grant, the project must carry out positive work in the community, although it does not have to have charitable status to apply. It 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
Grants vary from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £2,000.
So which project would I like to see funded in my area? Well, I’m passionate about developing enterprise knowledge and skills. If we had a culture of enterprise, we wouldn’t be so reliant on jobs and employers: we could create our own opportunities. There are so many times in our lives when a 9 to 5 job simply doesn’t fit; if we have young children, approaching retirement, when studying or if we have problems with our health. Yet so many of us are completely unprepared for life outside employment, which leaves many people under-employed, on benefits or slipping down the career ladder and then needing to climb back up it later on.
My focus at the moment is mums of young children, but I would like to see everyone have greater enterprise skills and awareness. The place it would make the greatest difference is with young people as this will help create the next generation of enterprising professionals, and business leaders, as well as making them more resilient in a rapidly changing global economy. So I would use the grant to bring enterprise education to young people in my area.
You can apply for the Cooperative Membership Fund here.