Doncaster causes urged to apply for Co-op's local community fund

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

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 9:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 9:43 am
Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value

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

Over 3,000 local causes from across the UK shared how the pandemic has affected their groups and communities, 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 Doncaster that support access to food, help improve mental wellbeing or provide opportunities for young people, to apply for the Local Community Fund.

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Doncaster Youth Jazz Association have been supported by the Local Community Fund in the past

Applications have been extended and now close at midnight on Sunday, June 13 and local groups can find out more at Co-op Causes.

The Local Community Fund has supported 128 local causes in Doncaster, raising £361,000 since it began in 2016.

Despite 53% of causes saying that funding has decreased, the survey evidenced the resilience and ingenuity of local community groups in responding to the pandemic, with 76% delivering their services in new ways, 75% finding new sources of funding and 70% developing and improving their digital skills.

Co-op’s current Local Community Fund causes are already playing a key role in helping communities rebuild, with 95% of causes stating that their project was helping their community’s response to the pandemic.

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.

“Members are encouraged to select a cause each round, allowing them to support grassroots causes in Doncaster 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.