More than £5,600 was raised last year at The Co-operative Food stores on the Isle of Wight, thanks to the support from customers and local residents, with the total rounded up to more than £6,300 by Southern Co-op to go to local charities. These include RSPCA IW, Sophie Rolf Trust – KissyPuppy, Suicide Prevention & Intervention, The Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum Ltd, Wessex Cancer Trust, and West Wight Nursery.
Island Co-op stores that took part include Sherbourne Street, Bembridge, High Street, Carisbrooke, Mill Hill, Cowes, Afton Road and Avenue Road, Freshwater, Main Road, Rookley, West Street, Ryde, Avenue Road, Sandown, and Regent Street, Shanklin.
Fundraising activities at the stores ranged from colouring competitions and treasure hunts to raffles and guess-the-sweets in a jar.
Holly Bramble, Southern Co-op’s community and campaign co-ordinator, said: “Despite the pressure a lot of families had to face last year, they have still found time to give generously and make a difference to local causes who have been keeping the communities going.”
Aaron and Gemma, from Sophie Rolf Trust – KissyPuppy, set up in memory of six-year-old Sophie who died from a brain tumour in 2013, which will receive more than £3,100, said: “Thank you for the amazing amount raised! Any and every penny donated is amazing and so gratefully received but, in these strange times we find ourselves in, they mean even more.
“The funding will ensure that we can continue to provide the services, through our partnership with Mountbatten, which are so important to the Island’s families.
“We are all still working behind the scenes to ensure everything continues to be in place if it’s needed and this donation will help no end. We really cannot thank you guys, and your customers, enough.”
Ray Southam, Fundraising Manager at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which will receive more than £1,700, said: “We are always amazed by the outstanding effort that staff and customers of Co-operative Stores put into their fundraising efforts to support Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
“Thank you so much for your dedication to our service. You keep your Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.”
Southern Co-op’s Love Your Neighbourhood programme also invites charities and local causes to apply for grants of up to £500 to help sow the seeds to a secure, stronger future for everyone. Applications are now open for 2021 local funding with more information at southernco-operative.co.uk/love-your-neighbourhood/.