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Nine far north organisations, including six in Caithness, share almost £19,000 in Co-op funding

By Gordon Calder

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NINE groups in the far north, including six in Caithness, have received a total of almost £19,000 in funding from the Co-op.

The money from the Co-op's Local Community Fund was raised by members for local projects they care about by simply swiping or scanning their membership card when buying own-brand products and services, with members earning rewards for themselves and for their community.The fund has supported over 36,000 local community projects across the UK since it launched in 2016.

The six groups in Caithness shared £8960.76. They are: Caithness KLICS Young Carers with £1214.58; Wick Lifeboat Station who got £1507.09; Caithness Junior Orchestra with £1629.43 while Thurso in Colour who received £1854.73. Caithness Amateur Athletics Club got £1718.04 and No Limits Caithness received £1036.89.

Three organisations in Sutherland – Move It Monster, which is based in Brora; Go Golspie Development Trust and Sutherland Care Forum were given £9,850.64, making an overall total of £18.811.40p.

The funding boost comes at a much-needed time, with research from over 3,000 UK local community causes showing that more than eight-in-10 (84 per cent) of local groups have seen a jump in demand for their services through the cost-of-living crisis.

This Christmas, Co-op members and customers will have the opportunity to provide further vital support to community causes.

Members can donate their member rewards balance via the Co-op app, and from next week, members and customers can also donate in the 2400 Co-op stores across the country. The Co-op has pledged to match the donations to share the spirit of Christmas with more communities across the UK this year.

Co-op's Rebecca Birkbeck
Co-op's Rebecca Birkbeck

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and member participation at the Co-op, said: "We’re really proud of our Local Community Fund and the impact it’s had supporting thousands of local causes across the UK. These groups deliver incredible grassroot projects, enabling them to provide important services, support and activities for their diverse communities."

The fund supports local causes and community projects that have an impact and made a difference locally such as

bringing people together to access food, helping to improve mental wellbeing and enabling communities to save and restore nature or tackle climate change.

Earlier this year, Co-op – one of the world’s largest consumer-owned co-operatives – announced it was aiming to attract one million active new members over the next five years.

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