THOUSANDS OF pounds are being donated to boost Saddleworth groups and organisations thanks to the generous ‘Local Community Fund’ run by the Co-op.
The nationwide scheme sees each branch nominate three local organisations every six months.
When members buy a Co-op brand product, one per cent of the money spent goes to their choice of the three organisations, while members receive a five per cent reward.
From September to March, kind-hearted shoppers in Uppermill, Delph, Grotton and Lees helped to raise money to benefit their chosen causes.
In Uppermill, just over £3,000 was raised, which benefited Saddleworth St Chad’s Church, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team and Pennine Pen Animal Rescue.
In Delph, shoppers raised £886 for Delph Community Association, £852 for Delph Primary School and £674 for the Children’s Heart Association.
The Co-ops in Grotton and Lees combined with Moorside to raise a staggering £5,008 for Age UK and another £5,064 for the Animal Rescue Centre.
Now, new charities have been named by each Co-Op to receive money which will be raised from April to October this year.
In Uppermill, the selected causes for members to back are Saddleworth Museum and Gallery, and Saddleworth Village Games.
Cat Jessop, one of the learning officers at Saddleworth Museum, said: “We will be spending money on projects to benefit our community such as resources for family activities and training for volunteers to make the visitor experience the best it can be.
“Being chosen as one of the Co-op’s charities is a delight, and will enable us to tell the story of Saddleworth to all our visitors through volunteer lead tours, hands on activities and incredible exhibits.”
Adrian Green, co-chair of Saddleworth Village Games, said the money will help ensure they can keep entrance fees for local children down, as well as buy new equipment.
“It is a great privilege and honour to be chosen,” he said. “We want to give children the opportunity to gain skills and confidence in sport through fun and friendly community organised events and this will help us to do that.”
In Delph, Delph Community Association and Delph Primary School have been picked once more, along with Scouts and their ‘Having fun and making friends’ project.
Delph Community Association said they are delighted to have been chosen once more and will use the funds towards their Chapel Garden project.
Phillida Shipp, chair of the community association, said: “We are very grateful to Delph Co-op, who have just donated £886 for our Chapel Garden project, and to Co-op members as well.
“Chapel Garden is owned by the Saddleworth Trust and last year DCA agreed to maintain and improve it on their behalf, for the benefit of local people.
“We launched a ‘Friends of Chapel Garden’ scheme last June and hope to raise more funds this year at the Chapel Garden Fete on June 10.
“The funds will pay for a gardener to work for two hours a week, for bedding plants and possibly for another seat.
“We are very pleased that Delph Co-op have agreed to continue to support our project for another six months.”
Grotton, Lees and Moorside Co-ops are teaming up once more to raise funds this time for Friends of Bright Futures School for children with autism in Grasscroft, RSPCA Oldham and Bury and St Barnabas Youth Club.
Zoe Thompson, Head of Development at Bright Futures said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the local projects that the Co-op.
“We now need to encourage as many Saddleworth residents as we can who shop at the Co-op stores in Uppermill, Grotton and Lees to choose our charity for their donations and help to support us in this brilliant scheme.”
Co-op members can find out more about the ‘Local Community Fund’ and select their chosen charity online: www.coop.co.uk/membership/local-community-fund
If you want to nominate your group or organisation to benefit from the fund, also check online.
Meanwhile, the Co-op is going to be getting further involved in the community as they are looking to help provide equipment and refreshments for canal clean-up events, litter picks and park cleaning events.