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Support for Historic Bakewell Refurbishment Project

Charity trustees are celebrating after receiving a cash boost to the ongoing restoration of St John’s Hospital, Bakewell Almshouses from Midlands Co-op.

St John’s Hospital, or better known locally as Bakewell Almshouses, is a 400-year-old charity which exists to provide some relief from poverty through the provision of accommodation for the local community. In the mid-1990s attempts to modernise the accommodation and make repairs to the building were thwarted by financial problems and it was not until 2003 that a fundraising committee was formed and progress began to be made.

The trustees have received a donation of £1,500 from Midlands Co-op’s Making a Difference Community Dividend Scheme which ensures that 1% of Midlands Co-op’s trading profit goes back into the local communities it serves.

Mike Hillam, Clerk to the Trustees, said: “We are very grateful to Midlands Co-op for the kind donation, and indeed to the generosity of the Bakewell community who have been so supportive of our efforts since the fundraising group formed. This is a major refurbishment project involving conservation, restoration and modernisation. The work should be completed this summer so the homes will soon be occupied again. We plan that the money from Midlands Co-op will go towards the purchase of white goods for the houses.”

Cyrrhian Macrae, Head of Community and Co-operative Affairs for Midlands Co-op, said: “This is a very interesting project and one of great significance to the local community. We are delighted to have been able to support the Trustees and wish them all the best for their future fundraising activities.”

Midlands Co-op launched its new community dividend initiative in 2004 with the aim of giving much needed cash to local groups and charities across its region. The first awards were made in December 2004 and continue to be made on a quarterly basis. The Making a Difference Community Dividend forms part of Midlands Co-op’s stakeholder strategy, which includes a commitment to return a percentage of its trading profit to the community it serves.

Cyrrhian Macrae added: “The usual amount we will be putting back to the local community will be 1% of our trading profit with cash awards being made from £1,000 to £5,000. The great thing about these awards is that they complement the work the Society already carries out locally and it means that people who shop in our stores will really be helping their local communities. This reinforces our position as a caring retailer in the communities we serve. Any group wishing to apply for a grant should pick up a leaflet from any Midlands Co-op store or telephone the Midlands Co-op Corporate Affairs department on 01543 421366 or visit ”

For further information please contact:
Alison Cooper/Julie Potts
PR Officers


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