Our Coop Community Fund donates around £18,000 to worthy causes across Guernsey
The Channel Islands Coop is proud to be donating a total of £17,952 to local charity and community projects across Guernsey as part of its Coop Community Fund.
The fund will support around 18 causes in Guernsey, going to projects that the Coop believe resonate with its vision of making a real difference to local communities.
This is the Coop’s second year of running the Community Fund, following its successful initial year where an overall total of £50,000 was donated to 57 community projects and initiatives across the islands. The first pay-out of 2022 helps to reinforce the Coop’s ongoing commitment as a local community retailer to its islands’ communities.
Recipients of the first round of funding for this year included charities such as Headway Guernsey, a charity supporting brain injuries, who received £2,140 to run weekly sessions for its members needing support.
Philippa Stahelin, Executive Director and Trustee for the charity said: “Our aim is to enable attendees to live as independent a life as possible and play as full a part as they can within their local community.
“This weekly group can be a lifeline to members, their families and loved ones. It brings them out of their homes, provides social interaction, cognitive training to relearn skills which have been lost, confidence building, and provides respite for family members and carers.
Funding means that we can offer these support groups once a week for a year providing a valuable service to the community.
“We are delighted that the Coop Community Fund has chosen to support our work as we continue to support islanders and their families on their road to recovery from serious brain injury.”
Other projects supported on this round included: Health Connections LBG for a Talking Café, Wigwam Support Group towards a Holiday Music Scheme, and art supplies for Liberate’s Art Club.
On receiving the funds, Joni Nettleship, local artist, and co-founder of the Art Club said: “We were delighted to receive a grant from the Coop Community Fund of £1,500 for the Liberate Art Club.”
Ms Nettleship continued: “The club was formed when Sophie, Liberate volunteers, art teachers and myself, recognised a need for somewhere for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, to get together in a quiet space to reduce loneliness and improve mental health through art.
Our attendees are diverse, but all enjoy being together to create artwork and talk. One regular attendee calls it his ‘lifesaver.
“The aims of the club are to reduce social isolation, promote creativity, improve mental health and work with other community groups and charitable organisations to make a positive difference to the wellbeing of the people of Guernsey.
We are really pleased to see our popularity growing and this donation of £1,500 from the Coop Community Fund has come at the perfect time. We can buy more art materials and make art more accessible to all.”
She added: “We have several projects lined up including an exhibition at the Mill Street Community Cafe, designs for charity Christmas cards and involvement in Pride 2022.”
Following this recent grant pay out, Head of Community and Sustainability at the Coop, Carl Winn, said: “We know that there are so many community groups, clubs and charities in our islands doing incredible work and supporting our islanders every day.
It’s in the DNA of our organisation as a Coop to make a real difference in the community, and our Community Fund looks to celebrate other charities and not-for-profit groups who share our vision.
“It’s our way of recognising the positive things that are happening right here in our islands, and giving local causes that little bit of financial support to help them to continue the truly amazing things they do daily.”
Donations were also made to twenty-one groups and charities in Jersey totalling £21,814 in this spring round of funding. This brings the total amount granted from The Channel Islands Coop to charities across both islands to be just under £40,000.
Applications for the Co-op Community Fund remain open all year-round with pay-outs being made to successful projects in spring and autumn. More details on the Society’s community fund can be found at: www.channelislands.coop/communityfund
Members of Liberate’s Art Club (Photo credit: Joni Nettleship)
Headway Guernsey's weekly groups as a 'lifeline to members' (Photo credit: Philippa Stahelin)