Homeless people in Sleaford and across the area will benefit from an extra £290,000 worth of support thanks to a three-month fundraising campaign by Lincolnshire Co-op.
From December to February, 14 organisations tackling homelessness were Lincolnshire Co-op’s chosen Community Champions. Every time a member shopped in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet using their dividend card, a donation was made to those good causes.
Proceeds from the carrier bag charge and staff fundraising – such as the £1,000 collected by brave colleagues taking part in sponsored sleep outs in Boston and Lincoln – were added, bringing the total raised to £147,534.
The money raised has been split between the different groups in each locality:
Donations of £143,000 worth of food and groceries were also made to many of the charities, including 200 Christmas turkeys.
Shoppers contributed 97 boxes of toiletries through collection points at Lincolnshire Co-op’s pharmacies and gifted Christmas presents through the Society’s travel branches. These were split between many of the good causes.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Engagement Manager Sam Turner said: “We have been blown away by the generosity of our members, customers and colleagues. Together, we have been able to offer these groups a huge amount of support – both financial and practical.
“The 14 groups which have benefitted are doing incredible work in our area with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We’re so pleased that together we’ve been able to contribute.”
Charity P3 - People Potential Possibilities helps rough sleepers throughout Lincolnshire and has an office in Sleaford Market Place. It offers a support service to people in accommodation who face potential housing issues. It will benefit from £42,998.
Operations Manager Jonny Goldsmith said: “We’re living and working in challenging times where the needs of our clients and the demands placed upon our services are greater than ever. Whilst we don’t rely on donations to fund the work that we do, we are truly grateful to Lincolnshire Co-op and its members for this incredible act of generosity. It will enable us to increase our current service provision.
“We cover such a vast area that we rely upon the public to tell us if they see someone rough sleeping - our freephone number is 0808 281 0280 and we’d encourage everyone to call it if they see someone who needs our help.”
Framework will receive £36,229. It runs services including emergency and Move On accommodation in locations across the county, including Sleaford.
Framework’s Jess Powell said: “It’s incredible - it’s the largest single donation we’ve ever received from a business and it’s going to do massive amounts to help us continue and improve for our services.
“There’s a few things that we offer across our accommodation services, such as Skills Plus sessions which look at budgeting, healthy relationships, being a good neighbour, things that set people up to live independently in the long term. We also provide move on packs that include essentials for when they’re moving on to live on their own such as a bed, kettle and cooker.”