Further support needed for local causes as UK at risk of social divide, says Co-op study

Picture by Jon Super

Co-op has reviewed and is relaunching its membership programme in order to double its pay-out to support local causes. The membership refresh means that now, not only will customers receive more personalised deals, but 2p for every pound spend on Co-op own brand products by members will be shared with communities that need it most across the country.

Member-led support for national and local causes will receive around £15M this year and the retailer believes that this will now grow to £30 million per annum from next yearwhich could result in a fund of almost £300M to support communities during the decade.


In order to highlight the need for this change in the wake of the pandemic, the ethical retailer has carried out multiple studies, collecting insight from over 2,000 members of the public, as well as 4,500+ community causes which already benefit from the brand’s Local Community Fund.

Key findings from Kent include:

  • Kent residents showed great signs of co-operation in the last six months with 60% of residents surveyed in Canterbury confirming they donate their time to local charities on a regular basis. Dartford residents also showed a large amount of support for the community with 74% of residents suggesting they make a financial donation to a charity or local cause regularly.
  • Over 50% of Dartford’s residents agreed that there has been an increase in collective action within the local area since the beginning of lock-down however, over 70% of residents in the Ashford, Canterbury and Dartford area feel that businesses operating in their community should do more to support local causes too, by investing time to support local charities.
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