The Southern Co-operative is currently supporting over 20 local food banks in a number of areas by providing bins in our stores and funeral homes which enable customers to donate food that they have purchased.

Local food banks are supported by organisations like the Trussell Trust, who partner with churches and communities to open new food banks nationwide.
Food banks feed over 350,000 people nationwide every year. Of those helped over 125,000 are children. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to seek help from food banks.Food bank collection point

How food bins work
The Local Food Bank provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis. Food donated to the bins in our stores is sorted and distributed to Distribution Centres.
Frontline care professionals such as health visitors, jobcentre etc give food bank vouchers to people in crisis and these can be exchanged for three days worth of food at a Food Bank Distribution Centre. At the Distribution Centre volunteers take time to listen and signpost clients to further support.

Request a food bin for your local store
We are exploring further opportunities for supporting food banks across our region and welcome approaches from other food banks. If you believe that there is a need for a collection point to be installed in your local The Southern Co-operative store, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.
If you are a Food Bank requesting the collection point, please be aware that you will need to sign a disclosure form upon receipt of request and you will need to provide us with your logo.


TSC understands that many of the locations in which we trade are more remote and therefore can be hard to reach by the emergency services. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent. As an integral part of our communities, TSC is supporting the installation of defibrillators outside a number of our stores.

TSC will work with local ambulance services to identify locations requiring the support of a public access defibrillator and determine a strategic approach to providing these for the local community.
TSC welcomes additional requests for defibrillators, and will agree each request on merit, budget permitting, however priority will be given to areas identified by local ambulance services as ‘in need’. All requests should be made via our Contact us page.

Once agreed, TSC will permit the installation of a defibrillator on an external wall only (where appropriate and practicable) and will cover the cost of this installation. The local community must fund the purchase of the equipment. Only TSC contractors are permitted to install the defibrillator units.

Defibrillator - AED unit

If the request is for equipment to be housed on another site in a community, TSC may be approached to support fundraising or contribute to the purchase of the equipment. TSC will donate a maximum £250 if your bid is successful.

The following criteria must be met:
• The defibrillator must be installed externally in a prominent place (i.e. easy for someone to find in an emergency and accessible to wheelchair users) and somewhere that limits the possibility of theft, vandalism, injury to passers-by (i.e. either by walking into it), or exposure to vehicular traffic (e.g. cycles).
• The decision whether an external location is suitable and practicable lies with TSC’s Commercial Development Manager or (escalation route) Head of Retail Development.
• It must be battery operated (although part of the installation will include access to our electricity supply. This is required for the LED light and heater that keeps the machine ‘ready to use’ in low ambient temperatures).
• It must be housed in a lockable unit. This is a recommendation from the ambulance service who provide the code as part of the 999 call and then facilitate its use.
• Immediate on-site training will be provided by the ambulance service via the 999 call however local people can and should be made familiar with the unit using the training services provided by the emergency services. TSC does not accept responsibility for this training or for having trained individuals available.
• A sign must be clearly visible with the unit to explain that it is for public access only and that TSC is not responsible for its maintenance.
• Maintenance of the units must be the responsibility of the community group requesting the installation. Whilst members of TSC may be part of this group, TSC itself will not take responsibility for the ongoing maintenance (with the exception of the power supply).
• All units must be registered with the local ambulance service.