Disability charity Scope is one of four good causes benefiting from The Southern Co-operative’s Carrier Bag Levy Fund.
Each cause is benefiting from a donation of £40,000 to address community concerns across Southern England.
The Southern Co-operative’s partnership with Scope will support the More Inclusive Neighbourhood theme within its Love Your Neighbourhood community engagement scheme.
There are currently more than 2.6 million disabled adults living across the south of England.
Scope works with disabled people and their families by providing practical, everyday support and campaigns that change lives.
The Southern Co-operative will be supporting Scope’s End the Awkward campaign, which aims to tackle the awkwardness people feel about disability.
Scope research shows 67% of the British public feels awkward around disabled people, and as a result they panic or worse – avoid contact altogether.
The charity worked closely The Southern Co-operative to produce a film inspired by End the Awkward.
Disabled people shared their awkward retail-based anecdotes and shared tips for staff.
Richard Lane, group head of campaigns at disability charity Scope, says:
“We’re delighted to be working with The Southern Co-operative to help create neighbourhoods for everyone.
“Our End the Awkward campaign will be returning this summer and we have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline.
“We take a light-hearted approach with End the Awkward – we don’t want to point fingers or use equality jargon. But there’s also a serious side to the campaign.
“We know that many disabled people still face negative attitudes at work, in the playground and in the street.
“We hope our campaign will start conversations about disability and get us all thinking about what we can do to overcome those awkward moments in life. After all, there are 11 million disabled people in Britain. That shouldn’t be awkward for anyone.”
Jessica Hughes, Community Investment Manager for The Southern Co-operative, said:
“Based on input from thousands of The Southern Co-operative’s members and colleagues, we have created our new Love Your Neighbourhood community programme to focus on key issues which really matter to the communities we serve.
“By using the money raised through the 5p single-use carrier bag levy, we are able to support like-minded charities across the south coast to help promote healthier, greener, safer and more inclusive neighbourhoods.
“Our region-wide partnership with Scope supports their most instrumental campaign, End the Awkward. As well as supporting the campaign as a whole, The Southern Co-operative has funded and helped produce an End the Awkward film. This collaborative film highlights the challenges disabled people face in a retail environment and will help educate retail colleagues about what to – and what not to – do in these situations.”