COMMUNITY groups in West Wiltshire are set to share a funding boost after the Co-op welcomed the latest beneficiaries to its Local Community Fund.

Forty-four deserving causes are set to benefit in Wiltshire, including Young Melksham, the Friends of The Down Cemetery in Trowbridge, and Westbury Welfare of the Elderly Association, with each in line to receive several thousand pounds at the end of the year.

Last year, 40 groups in Wiltshire shared £141,656.

Robert Wall, chairman of the Friends of The Down Cemetery, said they were delighted to have been chosen as a potential recipient of the Co-op funds.

“We’ve still got eight months to go before we receive any funds but we are hoping that Co-op members will choose us and give their money to a local charity.

“We’re hoping to use the cash to plant more seeds in a wildflower meadow that we’re creating at The Down Cemetery.”

“We have already allocated an area going down the main drive further on from the unconsecrated chapel.”

The Friends have already received a grant from Trowbridge in Bloom to start work on the wildflower meadow, where they have trialled some seeds and put in new turf.

They are now looking to increase the size of the meadow and plant seeds with help from the Co-op funds.

Co-op members receive a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to local causes when they buy own-brand products. Members can decide how the money is allocated, and are encouraged to select the causes they wish to support online.

Recent figures from the Charity Commission show that 40 per cent of all charities survive on an income of less than £10,000, meaning that the funding raised by Co-op members will have a significant impact on the difference causes can make in their community.

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community engagement at the Co-op, said: “The more people shop, the more we share, and the more impact we can have in communities.”

“People can get involved by becoming a member, swiping their card, and choosing the cause they want to support. By choosing their local cause, our members are telling us what really matters in their communities.

“Last year we invested £19 million in over 4,000 groups UK-wide, supporting a wide range of initiatives from village halls and community spaces to skills initiatives and neighbourhood watch schemes, all of which are helping to make communities across the UK safer, happier, and healthier places to live.”