Our 2024 Community Dividend Fund impact

Our 2024 Community Dividend Fund impact

At Central Co-op, we are big believers in community support. This year, through our Community Dividend Fund, we have donated over £141K to 209 community groups across our trading estate! This significant contribution aims to empower grassroots organisations and projects, fostering a stronger sense of community and addressing critical needs.

Among the worthy recipients of the 2024 Community Dividend Fund are initiatives like Wooldale Wanderers AFC, Growing Works and Sustainable Sawbridgeworth. These organisations embody dedication to community enrichment and have demonstrated impactful outcomes through their programs.

Growing Works: Growing Works is a mental health and wellbeing charity that helps to nurture healthier lifestyles. The team received over £1,000 through our Community Dividend Fund for the therapeutic outdoor activities it hosts in Dalton, which offer invaluable social and therapeutic gardening experiences for adults. One participant shared, "I used to feel very lonely, but since coming to Growing Works, my mental health has significantly improved. I've developed social and life skills, especially in cooking, enabling me to prepare homemade healthy food."

Growing Works outdoor cooking session

Wooldale Wanderers AFC: With over 100 years of football history, Wooldale Wanderers AFC continues to play a vital role in the local sports scene today. The £2,250 grant from our Community Dividend Fund facilitated the installation of specialist secondary glazing and an electric panel heater, contributing to the club's commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. Dominic Shellard, Chair of Wooldale Wanderers AFC, expressed gratitude, stating, "The generosity of Central Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund has been greatly appreciated by Wooldale Wanderers AFC. The grant has enabled us to install secondary glazing to help keep our clubhouse warm and to ensure we play our part in seeking to achieve Net Zero."

Wooldale Wanderers AFC clubhouse

Sustainable Sawbridgeworth: Environmental consciousness is paramount for us at Central Co-op, and Sustainable Sawbridgeworth epitomises proactive community engagement in this sphere. The local action group works with local businesses, schools and communities in Hertfordshire to promote improvements to the environment and sustainable living practices – from providing recycling information to campaigning against single-use plastics. Corinne Lewis from Sustainable Sawbridgeworth, said: “Since we launched in 2020, our focus has always been to promote improvements to the environment locally through initiatives that benefit the community – from second-hand clothes fairs to repair cafes in a bid to campaign against overconsumption. We’d like to say a big thank you to the Central Co-op team; the funds will go a long way in promoting our activity and supporting even more people.”

Sustainable Sawbridgeworth second-hand fair

Investing in and supporting the communities we operate within remains a priority at Central Co-op, and the Community Dividend Fund is just one way that we do this. We couldn’t be prouder to support grassroots initiatives which promote a better way of living.