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Local Co-op grants Christmas wishes through charity payouts

The wishes of half a dozen local charities have been granted as independent Co-op, Chelmsford Star, completed its first round of payouts from their new Community Fund this week.

Six charities from across Essex, each benefiting our local community in entirely unique ways, received gifts of between £2k and £5k to assist them with their efforts and for specific projects and improvements. These ranged from easing isolation for members of the BAME and disabled communities, providing housing and education to abandoned teenagers, or offering a counselling or advice service.

Nikki from Renew Counselling said; “Each of the groups benefitting today are shining a light in the darkness for the individuals they serve. How appropriate that the Chelmsford Star is helping provide some of that light.”

Other groups benefiting in the first round of payments include Southend YMCA, Happy Hill, Southend Christian Fellowship, the Essex Multicultural Activities Network and Braintree Mencap.

Chelmsford Star Co-op has been providing assistance to hundreds of local groups for over 150 years, but it set up the Community Fund during lockdown as a way to give greater financial aid. Those benefiting from the grant are selected by its members from applications made to the Essex Community Foundation who assist with the managing of the scheme.

Head of Membership for the Society, Kevin Bennett, said; “A portion of every transaction made in our food, department stores or travel agents is redirected into this Fund, along with corporate donations, colleague fundraisers, sales of carrier bags and money from collecting pots left by our generous customers. Local customers and members raised this money and it all benefits local groups who need it. It’s why our Co-op is set up like it is.”

If you would like to find out more about the Chelmsford Star Co-op Community Fund, or perhaps apply for a grant for your own organisation, in the first instance please contact

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