Each pound the Central England Co-op spends on charitable projects has more than £23 worth of impact in communities, according to the Social Return on Investment report, published today (1 May).
The report analysed the variety of projects run by the society and other companies. It found that every £1 donated by the retailer last year equated to £23.15 in community impact. This was up from £20.50 for every £1 in 2016.
The Central England projects include workshops for children and young people focused on healthy eating; installing 300 defibrillators in stores and funeral homes funded by the 5p carrier bag levy; educational events; and community council grants. It also runs Co-operative masterclasses for secondary school-age children to educate them about co-operatives, while its healthy choices and ethical challenge workshops are delivered in schools to educate students about making healthier food choices and Fairtrade products. Almost 4,000 students took part in these workshops in 2017.
The retailer donated 48 membership and community council grants worth over £32,000 last year.
“This amazing figure of £23.15 of impact for every £1 spent truly showcases how the society continues to make a real difference to people’s lives,” said Central England Co-op chief executive Martyn Cheatle. “This is the second time we have undertaken a robust analysis of our community impact and the … report continues to be great indicator of not just how we are doing but also helping us plan for the future. However, all of these great community projects are only possible due to the continued support and success of our trading businesses. Our ongoing commitment to support fantastic work in the community is underpinned by the strong financial performance of the society and a long-term strategy to grow the business in a sustainable way.”