Bridge Advice Centre on Hayling Island and Hayling United Football Club have benefitted from a total of £30,000 raised through The Southern Co-operative Community Support Card scheme.
The Community Support Card Scheme (CSC) is run in selected The Southern Co-operative’s stores. It enables local communities to raise funds by presenting a CSC card, which are issued free by the participating store, every time they purchase goods in-store. The more customers use the card, the more quickly funds are raised. Each year, local good causes wanting to apply for the funding can submit a bid, and recipient causes are chosen by a panel of local people working with The Southern Co-operative store team. A total of £30,000 has been raised over the past year to be shared equally between the Bridge Advice Centre and Hayling United Football Club.
The Bridge Advice Centre is a registered charity and is associated with a larger charity, Frontline Debt Advice (UK) which has been established for over 20 years and has over 16 offices in the south of England. The Centre is run by a team of trained volunteers, and helps people from all walks of life who have financial difficulties and need help with completing paperwork relating to financial matters. They often work in conjunction with other organisations to ensure their clients have as much support as possible to help resolve personal as well as money problems. Manager John Pitt said: “We thank the Southern Co-operative for their support of local communities through the Community Support Card scheme and for the money this brings to local community projects. We have taken a similar stance of supporting our local area and since starting the work in 2006, have helped over 400 clients with debt advice, benefits advice and form filling. During the current economic climate, our workload has increased as a result of job losses across all sections of society. Every client we see has different money problems, and many may have built up debt over a long period. We see clients on a one to one basis, to decide the appropriate course of action. These interviews are backed up with telephone calls, emails, letter writing and form-filling on the clients’ behalf to help them handle their problems. This work continues until matters are resolved. The £15,000 from The Southern Co-operative will enable us to provide a much-needed computer system to facilitate our work and will also cover some of our administration costs.”
Hayling United Football Club comprises children, young people and adults of both sexes and all abilities. They can participate in training, coaching and matches all run by FA and UEFA trained coaches. Over 150 children and young people benefit from playing in local and regional leagues and training to improve individual skills, and nearly as many adults. The Club’s Fundraising Executive Richard Blake explained: “We’re seeking to raise £30,000 over the next year to cover running costs and build a new club house, so this £15,000 from The Southern Co-operative is absolutely amazing and will make a huge contribution to our goal”.
Applications from local good causes on Hayling Island for the 2012/13 CSC scheme are still open. There is more information and application forms in-store at The Southern Co-operative store in Elm Grove on Hayling Island. www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk