CI Co-operative Society provides Helping Hands for voluntary sector

June 14th, 2012 by The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited

The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited gave £156,862 to community, environmental and charity projects throughout the islands in 2011.

One of its most well established initiatives Helping Hands, now in its 19th year, attracted applications from over 100 local charities last year and the resulting donations totalled £17,000 to 43 charities.

‘Our policy, as the local community retailer in the Channel Islands, remains to help as many charities as possible rather than limiting ourselves to a few larger donations to a small number of selected charities but we also encourage those that are unsuccessful to try again the following year,’ said Jim Plumley, Chief Commercial Officer.

Recipients of the Helping Hands initiative in Guernsey in 2011 included St Matthew’s Parish Church, Bowel Cancer Awareness and the Hedgehog Rescue Centre.

The Channel Islands Co-operative also helped 111 charities raise money through bag packing and charity events in the stores plus supporting over 225 local charities with fundraising prizes to the value of £6,900.

The Society continued to give sponsorship money to a number of causes such as Young Chef of the Year, ITEX walk and St Martin’s Football Club.

The local retailer also handed over a cheque for £3,000 to Les Bourgs Hospice and the Co-operative’s staff worked tirelessly to raise over £15,000 in 12 months through a range of activities, collections and events.

A second fund called the Co-operative Ecofund, concentrating on the local island environment, is now in its third year and is generated by proceeds from the sale of carrier bags in the stores.

The Ecofund was set up to help projects that look to preserve, protect or generate the environment in the islands.

The Society donated £71,000 last year across the Channel Islands and recipients in Guernsey included Living Streets, The National Trust of Guernsey, Guernsey Botanical Trust and Vale Junior School.

Since 2008 the Co-operative has given £230,000 to local environmental projects.

The Society launched Plan Bee an initiative developed to help support and grow the Channel Islands’ bee population.

Primary schools across the islands received information leaflets and packets of wildflower seeds, which, when planted will help the bee population to thrive.

A third fund, designed to help local schools pay for resources and materials to aid the development of children’s education, was launched last month and has been very well received.

As an ethical retailer, the Society continues to support Fairtrade in its pursuit of improving the lives of producers in developing countries by ensuring a fair wage for their products.

Gone are the days when the Fairtrade range just focused on tea, coffee and chocolate.

Nowadays the business also stocks biscuits, orange juice, wine, beer, cotton buds and bananas, which are now fully Fairtrade.

“Last year Fairtrade sales reached £1.3 million for The Channel Islands’ Co-operative with over 200 products available at our Grand Marche stores, which is in response to conscientious customer feedback and is a far greater variety than any of our competitors provide,” said Mr Plumley.

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