South Shropshire charities chosen as Co-Op local causes

Three south Shropshire charities have been chosen as Co-op Local Community Fund causes this year, hoping to raise much needed cash over the new lockdown.

Bishop's Castle Railway Society. Pictured from left; Peter Broxholme, Roger Dalton, Mike Boyd, David O'Neill and Malcolm Reeves.
Bishop's Castle Railway Society. Pictured from left; Peter Broxholme, Roger Dalton, Mike Boyd, David O'Neill and Malcolm Reeves.

Bishop's Castle Railway Society, SpArC in Bishop's Castle and Empathy for Special Children in Craven Arms, have all been selected by the the Co-Operative to be part of its local causes project.

The Co-op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK and helps them get vital funding. Once signed up to the Co-Op's membership scheme for £1 members can choose which local cause they want to support when they shop.

When buying selected Co-Op branded products and services, 2p for every pound spent goes to the customer and the same is given to support community organisations and local causes.

The Bishop's Castle Railway Society put out a fundraising appeal earlier this year as usual events were cancelled and they were struggling to raise their usual funds.

The society is currently restoring the old railway weighbridge and building in Bishop's Castle and aiming to transform it into a visitor centre with information about the history behind the railway line.

Lin Dalton, from the railway society, said they were thrilled to have been chosen as a local cause.

Lucky

"We applied back in the summer and didn't expect anything to come of it really," she said. "The society was chosen two years back as a cause so we didn't think we'd be chosen again.

"But we were lucky enough to be chosen, and were told only around two days before it was announced. For every £1 spent by Co-Op members on own-brand products, they donate a percentage to the local cause of the customer's choice.

"It runs for 12 months and two years ago when we did it, we managed to raise just shy of £3,000."

The society is making strides with the restoration work and Lin said they have come a long way this year despite all the restrictions.

SpArC leisure centre and theatre in Bishop's Castle is another cause chosen by the Co-Op and they are hoping use money earned to buy water play equipment for the swimming pool.

Bosses hope this will boost children's water confidence and increase parents' social confidence; both of which have been dented by Covid restrictions.

Empathy for Special Children is another cause chosen. Formed in 2010 by three like-minded parents, the charity works across Shropshire to improve the lives and reduce the social isolation of those growing up with a hidden disability.

Sign up online at coop.co.uk/membership to then choose a local cause to support.

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