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A Lichfield retailer says it is changing a fund it operates to allow help to reach groups supporting local communities to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

Central England Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund usually hands out grants four times a year.

But over the next four months, the company has decided to hand out grants on a monthly basis with between £100 and £5,000 on offer.

Jim Watts, from Central England Co-op, said:

“In response to the current crisis, we have made some changes to our Community Dividend Fund scheme to provide immediate financial support for local good causes, community groups and charities who are responding to some of the most worrying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Many charities and organisations are suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic – incomes have fallen, demand has risen. 

“In particular, we know that providing the basics including food has become a challenge for many people. Isolation and lack of access to normal services means that mental health and wellbeing is a growing concern. 

“We particularly welcome applications from organisations that are meeting needs in these areas.”

Jim Watts, Central England Co-op

Full details on the criteria to apply are available on the company’s website.

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