The Southern Co-operative donates £10,000 to Lambourn community

A £10,000 donation to the Lambourn community has been made by The Southern Co-operative, shared between Lambourn Primary School, Riding for the Disabled and Festival ‘Party in the Park’.

The Southern Co-operative’s Community Support Card (CSC) scheme, which is run in selected stores across the south, relies on customer support but without costing shoppers a penny. Kevin Gibson, Retail Business Manager at The Southern Co-operative store in Lambourn, explained: “We invite local good causes and charities to apply for CSC funding and the recipients are then decided by a panel made up of local members of The Southern Co-operative and representatives from our store team. This ensures that the money is donated to causes close to each local community’s heart. Following a successful Picnic in the Park to launch the CSC scheme back in May, shoppers at our store showed their support by having a free CSC card swiped each time they shopped here; the more cards were swiped, the quicker The Southern Co-operative donated funds. The scheme usually runs for 12 months, but this year the funds were raised very quickly, thanks to our customers.”

£6000 of the £10,000 total has been donated to Lambourn School, with £3000 going to Lambourn Riding for the Disabled and £1000 for Lambourn Festival’s ‘Party in the Park’.

Andrew Higgs, Headteacher at Lambourn Primary School said: “We’re hugely grateful for this donation which we intend to invest in providing mobile technology for home learning. This means that families who don’t have home computers will be able to borrow school tablet computers overnight or for weekends.”

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Over 30 riders a week, who are aged from 18 months to over 60 years and either mentally or physically handicapped, use Lambourn Riding for the Disabled.  Chairman Pauline Spence said: “We’ll be using this donation for the keep of our eight horses, which costs £6000 a year just for stables and grazing. It is a terrific asset to have this and the £3000 makes a big difference, as we have to do a huge amount of fundraising to keep the group going.”

Louise Wilkin, Secretary of Lambourn Festival Committee, said: “We are delighted to receive funding from The Southern Co-operative’s Community Support Fund which will cover the costs of the entertainment for our Picnic in the Park, held in June this year, following the previous year’s very successful Jubilee Party. The day was a big success with up to 300 people of all ages attending; entertainment was provided by Ramsbury Silver Band and there were fairground rides and an activity tent for the children, the Garston Gallopers put on a show of Morris Dancing and Juggling John provided thrills and spills with his stilt walking and juggling.” Louise added; “There were no other costs – the Sports Club allowed us to use their premises and facilities free of charge and of course the preparation and organisation on the day is done by volunteers; and we still have a balance to spend on next year’s Picnic!”

Kevin summed up: “We really appreciate that our fundraising for Lambourn is always so well supported by our customers. They like the fact that the money donated by The Southern Co-operative is ploughed directly back into the local community.” This year’s donation follows the success of the store’s CSC scheme at Lambourn in 2012 which donated £7000 to Lambourn School Swimming Pool and £3000 to St Michael and All Saints Church.