Thousands of people take to the polls during lockdown

Thousands of members of a regional co-operative took to the polls during lockdown which resulted in a donation of £2,630 to local causes affected by the pandemic.

Southern Co-op holds an election every year for its members to vote people on to its Board. This year, more than 10,000 people voted.

For every voter, 25p was pledged by the independent co-operative to the Neighbourly Community Fund which is providing micro-grants to good causes that are helping communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The high turnout resulted in a donation of £2,630 being added to the £40,000 already made to the fund.

Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Local charities and causes have been under immense pressure since the start of the Covid crisis.

“Donations to the Neighbourly Community Fund have enabled us to deliver essential help quickly to where it’s needed most – at the heart of our local neighbourhoods.

“It’s fantastic to see the number of votes and support that has been given by Southern Co-op members. The donation will make a huge difference to thousands of people’s lives.”

One of the causes to benefit from the previous donation from Southern Co-op is West Wight Men in Sheds – an Isle of Wight charity which provides a safe space for people to gather work on projects together.

Ian Wright, Trustee for West Wight Men in Sheds, said: “This grant will enable us to support our members and the local community. We have recently been refurbishing memorial benches in the local area and will use some of this money to continue providing this service.

“We have also been busy during the current pandemic, we have had members delivering hot meals, collecting shopping and prescriptions. We have been using our van to provide this service and will use the remaining money to keep it running.”

Southern Co-op’s Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the co-operative and for overseeing the work the Leadership Team do on a day to day basis.

This year’s elections were for three seats on the Board and the elected candidates were Amber Vincent-Prior, John Lay and Beverly Wyatt.

To find out more about Southern Co-op’s membership and elections, click here. To apply for a Neighbourly micro-grant, organisations based near Southern Co-op’s stores or funeral homes can apply through their new or existing Neighbourly profiles at and using the referral code SouthernCoopPartner.