Monday, 16 September 2019

Co-op shoppers help raise £12,000 for good causes

Co-op shoppers help raise £12,000 for good causes

THE Co-op in Sonning Common has donated more than £12,000 to three local good causes.

It gave more than £4,000 each to Bishopswood Special School, Sonning Common Primary School and the Ways and Means Trust, which is based in Peppard.

The money was raised by the Wood Lane store via the Co-op’s membership card scheme in which one per cent of the sale price of selected own brand food products and services is given to charities and good causes.

The store raises money for different causes every year and the members get to choose the beneficiaries.

Store manager Apu Miah said: “That £12,000 is giving back to the community. It is a huge amount and that is just from our store.”

Pupils from the schools visited the store to receive the money and help promote the scheme for this year.

Mr Miah said: “It is such a big thing for us. For about six hours we had a member of staff walking around the store, explaining to the customers about the donations that we have made. We signed up loads of new members — at least 50. We advertise our scheme every now and then. If it is a quiet weekend, we try to raise the awareness of it.”

This year the store will be raising money for Sonning Common scouts and guides, Kidmore End Primary School and the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley.

Mr Miah said: “We should raise more money this year. There are a lot more people in Sonning Common with all the new-builds in the area and we are trying to sign up as many new customers as we can.”

Chris Hirst, headteacher of the primary school in Grove Road, said the money would be used to buy two interactive whiteboards.

He said: “We can’t afford to replace our whiteboards and if we did not have this money they would be difficult to replace. The new ones are interactive and the children can use them for most lessons. The boards can greatly extend their learning.”

Mr Hirst, who is a Co-op member himself, said: “I would like to thank the Co-op and its supporters. I would like to encourage people to take part in the scheme and use the card whenever they go in.”

Bishopswood Special School will spend its donation on a new outdoor 10ft sunken trampoline for the children.

A spokeswoman said: “The money is obviously much appreciated. We are replacing our trampoline that is broken so the children have not had one for a while.”

Headteacher Janet Kellett said: “What a wonderful Christmas present for Bishopswood, which will be very much appreciated by pupils.”

The Ways and Means Trust, which is based at the Manor Farm trading estate, supports adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues with its Greenshoots nursery.

Administrator Denise Jones said the trust was delighted with the donation.

“We were beneficiaries last year when we received more than £4,000 so over the two years it has been brilliant for us.

“The money will be used for ongoing pathway improvements on site at Greenshoots.

“We are working on the pathway to stop it sinking and to aid mobility. We made big inroads last year. It means more people can go into more areas.

“I would like to thank the Co-op and everyone who helped raise the funds. It is a fantastic scheme.

“It is also good for us to get our name out there and make people aware of who we are and what we do.”

The trust launched an appeal for £3,000 last month after the nursery was broken into on December 16 and machinery and tools were stolen. So far, £1,200 has been raised.

Nationally, the Co-op scheme raised £19 million.

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