Photo Above – Tess Lukehurst (left), and Ian Malins, both of Warwickshire Search and Rescue, with Tristan Ainsworth of The Co-operative and Jo Dyke, of the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Kind-hearted shoppers in Warwick District helped secure £2,500 for a Warwickshire-wide voluntary organisation which works to safeguard vulnerable citizens throughout the county and beyond.

Customers at the Heart of England Co-operative Society, which operates a network of 32 Food stores and 13 Funeral homes in Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, voted for Warwickshire Search and Rescue to receive a share of £25,000 from the Society’s latest carrier bag sales.

The money is being used to provide personal protective equipment for 10 new trainee members who will become operational during 2019.

Tess Lukehurst, Fundraising Officer for Warwickshire Search and Rescue, said donations such as those from the Society were essential to help keep the voluntary service running, while the protective equipment funded by the Society was vital in helping to keep the volunteers safe during searches.

Tess said: “We would like to say thank you to all the customers who voted for us to receive a share from the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

“To run the Search and Rescue team costs us some £12,000 a year and all our members are volunteers so donations such as this are vitally important to help us to keep going. Members pay for their own clothing, fuel and equipment, but support such as this from the Heart of England Co-operative Society helps us to purchase vital equipment such as medical kits, and it helps us to train our volunteers.”

With the second highest number of votes, the Warwick-based Friendship Project received £1,500 while Action 21 received £1,000.

The Society is among thousands of retailers nationally operating a government levy introduced in October 2015 to reduce damage to the environment.

It followed statistics released by the government which revealed that shoppers used more than 7.6 billion single-use carrier bags in 2014, equating to 61,000 tonnes, or 140 carrier bags for every person in Britain.

Further research undertaken on behalf of the government revealed that the average household contained some 40 carrier bags around the home, while the number of bags dished out by supermarkets continued to rise year on year in the five years to 2014.

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