The Co-op has become first retailer to launch a £1 million ‘Warm Spaces’ funding boost, to provide urgent support to local community organisations across the UK.
In partnership with Crowdfunder, funds raised by Co-op members are helping local groups provide warm spaces for people to use over the coldest months.
Eligible groups who are already offering a warm space, wanting to increase opening times or extend existing services or activities this winter can apply for the £1 million match funding.
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The funding comes as a welcome boost with from more than 1,600 local community causes across the UK showing that nearly 60% of projects have experienced a shortfall in funding over the past year.
Figures also suggest 84% of local causes have seen an increase in demand, particularly those providing support for people through the cost-of-living crisis, the symbol group grocer revealed.
Some 26% of community projects said they were considering having to reduce services as a result of shortfalls in funding, whilst 10% of local projects have already closed or reduced services.
“As our Co-op research shows, we have a huge role to play in supporting community groups and the people that they help during the cost-of-living crisis,” Co-op director of community and member participation Rebecca Birbeck said.
“Funding for warm spaces form part of our response to our community missions of access to food, mental wellbeing support and opportunities for young people.
“Launching this funding boots will help groups keep their lights and heating on as they bring communities together to keep warm in the coldest months of the year– increasing overall wellbeing.”