(Photo Above) Jo Dyke, Community and Membership Adviser at the Heart of England Co-operative Society (third from left) and Joe Aston, Store Manager of The Co-operative At Wellesbourne (second from right), with co-ordinators and members of Wellesbourne Youth Services.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Kind-hearted shoppers at the Heart of England Co-operative Society have helped a group of young people in the Wellesbourne area of Warwickshire land a surprise £2,500 windfall.

 Every customer shopping with the Society was given the opportunity to vote for their favourite local charitable cause to receive a slice of £25,000 – every penny of which has been raised through the sale of carrier bags.

 Like other areas across the Society’s trading area of Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, the Warwick region was allocated £5,000.

 With the most votes among deserving causes in the area Wellesbourne Youth Services received £2,500, The Kenilworth Centre received £1,500 and Warwick Vision Support received £1,000.

 Wellesbourne Youth Services was set up in 2012 by St Peter’s Church in response to the cuts to youth service provision across the county; it operates two main services in the village, catering for young people aged 10 to 20.

 The Monday night youth club, which gives young people from the neighbourhood the perfect chance to form close friendships, regularly attracts between 20 and 40 people on a weekly basis. Activities include football, karaoke, table tennis and arts and crafts.

 Wellesbourne Youth Services also run an outreach project for older teenagers in the village who are battling their own struggles, for example problems at school or college. 

 At the moment there are some 70 young people benefiting from the services.

 Greg Bartlem, the Vicar of Wellesbourne, is among those on the Wellesbourne Youth Services management committee.

 He said the money will be used to further develop activities for young people at the centre and to upgrade existing equipment, beginning with the sports equipment

 He added: “A big thank you to shoppers at the Heart of England Co-operative Society for helping us to invest in some wonderful young people.  With their help this project is helping to change young people’s lives.”

 The Heart of England Co-operative Society is among thousands of retailers operating a government levy to reduce damage to the environment.

 Government statistics show that in 2014 customers used more than 7.6 billion single-use bags, equating to 61,000 tonnes, or 140 bags for every person in Britain.

 After the levy was introduced in 2015 sales of the bags in major supermarkets fell by 86 per cent, equating to just 19 bags per person, in 2016/17.

By 2018 the number of bags sold had further fallen, with 1.75 billion sold during the year.

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