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Help for environmental groups to grow

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The search is on for local environmental groups which could blossom with up to £5,000 in funding from Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme.

Green projects bring people together to share skills and help the environment look its best, and from June to September 2019 the Society will raise money for them together with members and colleagues.

Local groups which want to create or care for green spaces are all invited to apply for the scheme, from playing fields and outdoor art projects to community gardens, In Bloom groups and more. Each group selected could receive between £1,000 and £5,000 in donations.

Money is raised through the Community Champions scheme every time a Lincolnshire Co-op member shops with their dividend card, along with colleague fundraising and proceeds from 5p carrier bags.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Senior Community and Education Co-ordinator Ben James said: “Lots of groups use their budding ideas and boundless energy to care for the environment, from creating communal spaces to brightening up our towns and villages with flowers. They often do this with limited resources, so we want to support them together.

“We know there are many groups out there who fit the criteria for this quarter and could use this fundraising to start projects and grow. Just fill out our form and apply – it’s that simple!”

Application forms are available online here and the closing date is Friday 14th December 2018. The chosen groups will be confirmed during three environment forums in February next year.

Last year over £126,600 was raised for more than 20 green space groups including Healey Road Education and Wildlife Centre in Scunthorpe (above) which received £4,417 to create a pond and a wheelchair-suitable picnic area on unused land next to allotments.

The pond is now finished and home to fish and frogs, there’s apple, pear and fig trees for visitors to enjoy and hedges have been planted to help wildlife thrive. A second phase of work is now underway to complete an educational classroom and add a composting toilet, gates and easier access for children and elderly groups, which is all hoped to be completed in spring.

Project Manager Barry Cottiss said: “We’ve put a fair bit of work in but the response we’ve had has been just amazing, including the support we received from Lincolnshire Co-op.

“It gives all those involved a buzz and a feeling of achievement to look around and think ‘we did this’. It’s a legacy we have left for the local community.”

Other good causes can also benefit from the Community Champions scheme. Lincolnshire Co-op is also looking for local charities and community groups to support in the next round of fundraising for local groups, which runs from September until November 2019.

More than £108,000 was raised for almost 170 local groups last year, and applications are open for those who’d like to benefit from support this time round. The closing date for these applications is Friday 1st February 2019 and forms are available to download here.

For more details about the Community Champions scheme, contact Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community team on 01522 544 632 or

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