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freshwaterboostcoop£20,000 has been donated to the Freshwater community by The Southern Co-operative store in the village, following the success of the store’s latest Community Support scheme.

The community support scheme is a way for local charities and good causes to raise funds with the backing of customers at the store, but without costing shoppers a penny to support. The recipients are chosen by members of The Southern Co-operative who shop and work at the participating store to ensure that the funding directly benefits the local community.

Following the support of the scheme over the past year, the store presented West Wight Sports Centre with £15,000 in support of its youth project, with a further £5,000 going to All Saints School to fund improvements to the school library.

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Clare Griffin, Centre Manager at West Wight Sports Centre, said:

“We’re delighted to have been awarded the grant from The Southern Co-operative. It will help us fund our new Youth Project which started earlier this year. In November alone, which was the first full month of our project, we had in excess of 250 contacts with young people through our activities. This was a tremendous start and we intend to build on it – The Southern Co-operative money will help us to do this.

“Our activities include a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, weekly youth clubs, subsidised lifeguard training courses, drop in football and skateboarding sessions, youth cafes, self defence sessions, apprenticeship training and more. Our Youth Project is a positive step forward for West Wight Sports Centre which has recently had its revenue grant from Isle of Wight Council reduced.

“The Southern Co-operative has put faith in the Centre and we’re delighted to be able to work with them to secure the future of West Wight Sports Centre for the community”.

Nicki Mobley, Headteacher of All Saints CE Primary School, said:

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“We are very grateful to The Southern Co-operative for their kind donation. Our school Council were asked what they felt the money should be spent on if we were lucky enough to get it and the children agreed that they would like us to buy new things for our school Library.

“We are fortunate to have a spacious school, but we need more modern books, with newer authors, better choices for the older pupils and furniture which is the right size and new rather than second hand!

“We can’t wait to get the items and look forward to having a grand opening, which we would love The Southern Co-operative to open. Thank you again for your gift – what a great Christmas present!”

Tony McGuinness Retail Business Manager at The Southern Co-operative store in Freshwater, said:

“We’ve supported both the school and sports centre through this community scheme in previous years, so it’s been good to continue this relationship with this latest donation. Indeed, it’s very possible that the youngsters who use the youth project and go to school at All Saints today will be our future customers and colleagues working for The Southern Co-operative!

“Our customers and local people who use both facilities have really backed the scheme, as they always do, helping us to raise the funds quickly for the local community.

“We’re looking forward to the opening of our new Freshwater store, offering customers across the West Wight a much improved facility with a better range including a much wider choice of Local Flavours produce.”

The Southern Co-operative previously donated £20,000 to Wight Community Access  – FYTbus community bus service in West Wight and £10,000 to Freshwater Memorial Hall £10,000 from its 2013 Community Support scheme.

Its new flagship community store, which is currently being built in Afton Road, Freshwater and will create 40 new jobs, will be the Society’s largest store across its estate in southern England.

The Southern Co-operative has 12 stores, 6 funeral branches and a distribution hub on the Isle of Wight which co-ordinates supply and delivery of its Local Flavours range from the Island’s local food producers.

Photographed L-R: Seve Coelho, Kiera-Mai West, Headteacher Nicki Mobley, Sid Tudor, Sports Centre Manager Clare Griffin and Tony McGuinness, Retail Business Manager at The Southern Co-operative store in Freshwater

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