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Applications for this year’s Eco fund are now open

Applications for this year’s Eco fund are now open

01 September 2020

Charities, community groups, schools and individuals who actively work to protect and nurture our local environment are encouraged to apply for a donation from your Society’s annual Eco fund.

Now in its 12th year, our Eco fund has distributed more than £320,000 to projects that have an environmental focus. In 2019 the Eco fund provided more than £11,000 to 11 Channel Island based projects, including Edible Guernsey, Little Bear’s Nature Preschool and the Guernsey Hedgehog Rescue Centre.

We were due to launch the Eco fund in July this year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead good causes will be able to apply for funds from Tuesday 1 September and applications will close on Wednesday 30 September.

The fund was initially launched when we introduced a levy on its one-trip carrier bags. In July this year, the Co-op increased the price of a Bag for Life from 10p per bag to 15p per bag. This move was made in an effort to reduce the number of Bags for Life being used as one-trip carrier bags by customers. The initiative means your Society can now dedicate more funds to environmental causes across the Islands.

Last year, SHARE Education Service was awarded £1,500 which it used to provide young people with sustainable menstrual products, with an aim of reducing the amount of single-use sanitary pads and tampons being used by school girls.

Kate Corcoran, health educator for SHARE, said: ‘As nurses we are keen to ensure that our young people are taught about the availability of sustainable menstrual products such as washable pads, reusable applicators and menstrual cups.

‘We believe there is no better way to be educated about alternative products than to be given a starter kit along with their peers in a positive encouraging environment.

‘We were absolutely delighted with the donation from the Society’s Eco fund and made sure the money was spent wisely in order to share this exciting initiative as widely as possible.’

One of the key factors the judges look for when choosing successful applicants is the wide-reaching impact the project will have on the Channel Island’s sustainable heritage – whether that be through education, the marine environment or simply in an islander’s own back garden.

Mark Cox, chief executive officer for the Society, said: ‘Although we have had to delay our Eco fund this year due to issues out of our control, we felt it was important that we continued with the campaign to give all those good causes protecting our local environment the opportunity to apply for some funding.

‘Since we launched the Eco fund we have supported hundreds of projects which have benefitted people of all ages across the Bailiwick and helped improve the local environment we live in. We know that issues around litter have been heightened during recent months and we are committed to tackling issues like this through our fund.

‘As a responsible retailer we are always looking at ways to reduce our impact on the environment around us and it’s fantastic to be able to run our Eco fund, which helps support other projects across the Channel Islands.

I would encourage anyone who has an idea to make our islands more environmentally friendly to apply for the fund, whether you are school, charity, community organisation, or an individual.’

Those wishing to apply for this year’s Eco fund can do so online until Wednesday 30 September at channelislands.coop/ecofund.