Since the Co-op’s local community fund was launched in September 2016, 900 Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs and nearly 400 Guide, Brownie and Rainbow units in the UK have received a total of £2,100,000.
The mutual has supported thousands of other youth groups in the UK, raising a total of £5.4 million* since the scheme began.
Co-op members, who receive a five per cent reward for themselves and a further one per cent going to local causes when they buy own-brand products, have a say in how the money is allocated, and are encouraged to select the organisations they wish to support online.
Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community Engagement at the Co-op, said: “Our members are passionate about supporting young people and it is the sector which we have backed more than any other, with no fewer than 3,000* organisations benefitting from our community fund.
“Like the Scouting and Guiding movements, we are driven by co-operative values and principles, helping to bring young people together to support their local communities. Indeed, research by the Scouts themselves shows that young people involved with the movement are a third more likely to take an active role and to help out in their local communities, which is precisely the focus of our local community fund.”
Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of The Scout Association, said: “We are delighted to see evidence of such strong support and investment from the Co-op and its members in support of The Scout Movement. This ongoing commitment allows us to continue our vital work in supporting young people and particularly key provision in areas of deprivation and underrepresented communities. We very much hope that we can count on this valuable contribution in the future so that our important investment can continue and young people always benefit from Scouting.”
Ruth Marvel, Acting CEO of Girlguiding, said: “This initiative has been invaluable in enabling Girlguiding units across the UK to do even more to bring about positive change. Helping others, carrying out community action, and preparing girls and young women to be a powerful force for good lies at the very heart of our organisation. This scheme provides an amazing opportunity to amplify this by investing in girls and young women and supporting them to make a difference in their local communities. We hope it will continue long into the future.”
The money raised through the Co-op scheme has enabled groups to undertake a wide and varied number of projects, from refurbishing halls to make them available for the whole community, to ensuring every member of a group can enjoy a residential trip, regardless of their ability to pay for it.