Hemel Hempstead community groups urged to apply for Co-op's Local Community Fund

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The Co-op’s Local Community Fund has raised over £148,000 for local causes in Hemel Hempstead since 2016

Community groups and local good causes in Hemel Hempstead are being encouraged to apply for Co-op's Local Community Fund.

The challenges of the pandemic are far from over for grassroot local community groups, according to a new survey from the Co-op.

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It found more than three quarters (76 per cent) of surveyed community causes expected demand for their services to increase over the next six months, including a huge 94 per cent of groups working to support mental wellbeing, 96 per cent of groups supporting young people and 83 per cent of those tackling food poverty.

The First Bovingdon Scout Group has received support from the fundThe First Bovingdon Scout Group has received support from the fund
The First Bovingdon Scout Group has received support from the fund

Over 3,000 local causes from across the UK shared how the pandemic has affected their groups and communities, making the survey one of the largest of its kind, and highlighting that support for local community groups is needed now more than ever before.

To address this and help create fairer communities, Co-op is inviting grassroots projects in Hemel Hempstead that support access to food, help improve mental wellbeing or provide opportunities for young people, to apply for the Local Community Fund.

Applications are open online until Sunday, May 30, the Local Community Fund has supported 50 local causes in Hemel Hempstead, raising £148,000 since it began in 2016.

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Two community causes in Hemel Hempstead have already received funding from Co-op's Local Community Fund.

The Waterways Experiences has received support from the fundThe Waterways Experiences has received support from the fund
The Waterways Experiences has received support from the fund

The First Bovingdon Scout Group has received £201.56 to support a project that would create a vital hub not only for our scouting groups but for the local community as well.

The Waterways Experiences, who provide affordable and accessible canal boat trips, has received £244.68 to support their plans for the large front deck to have capacity to accommodate all passengers, thus removing barriers people may face participating in the boating experience.

Co-op’s current Local Community Fund causes are already playing a key role in helping communities rebuild.

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Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and shared value at the Co-op said: “Our Co-op vision is ‘co-operating for a fairer world’ and it’s heartening to see this come to life in these grass roots projects.

"Our Local Community Fund and support from our members has been a lifeline throughout the pandemic, and we want even more local groups to take advantage of this opportunity.

“Findings from the survey, our own Community Wellbeing Index, members and colleagues has shown us that we can all come together to make the world a fairer place.

"Even with the easing of lockdown, the communities across the UK will still need our help.

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“Members are encouraged to select a cause each round, allowing them to support grassroots causes in Hemel Hempstead that they really care about.

“This year, when a group applies for the Local Community Fund, we will also connect them to Co-operate, our online community centre, where they can come together and benefit from help and support from like-minded people and causes.

"This is an exciting development which shows the power of co-operation beyond funding.”

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