2 Apr 2007

The Co-operative Launches Charity Campaign For Childhood

02 April 2007

Shoppers around the country could find themselves being served by princesses, pilots, ballerinas, footballers or even Elvis when they call in at their local co-operative food store or Travelcare branch on Monday (2 April).

The Co-operative is encouraging thousands of its employees across the UK to realise their childhood dreams and dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. This fun day launches The Co-operative’s charity of the year campaign, which aims to raise more than £1 million for The Children’s Society and its partner charities; Aberlour, Extern and Tros Gynnal.

Co-operative Group employees, members and customers will be fundraising across all of the food, travel, funeralcare pharmacy, bank, insurance, farm and Shoefayre businesses to improve the lives of 60,000 vulnerable children and their families.

“The Co-operative’s colleagues and members will have great fun raising money for The Children’s Society. Behind the fun, however, lies a serious message. The Children's Society helps thousands of children in this country who face life's harshest challenges and who are confronted by danger, discrimination or disadvantage in their daily lives,” said Guy McCracken, Chief Executive, Food, The Co-operative Group.

“Our past two UK-wide charity fundraising campaigns each raised more than £1 million and with the tremendous enthusiasm and commitment across the organisation for this new initiative, plus the help of our ever-supportive customers and members, I am sure we can more than emulate our past successes for this very worthwhile cause,” Guy added.

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive at The Children’s Society said: “Today employees at The Co-operative are reminiscing about their childhood dreams and raising money to help give back children their stolen childhoods. The Children’s Society is delighted The Co-operative is raising money for our work with the most vulnerable children in the UK. By supporting your local co-operative branch you can help us continue our vital work.”

In the coming months, The Co-operative’s employees and members will be involved in a massive range of fundraising activities from sponsored head shaves to white water rafting and karaoke days to car boot sales, and of course they will be encouraging customers to join in too.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Co-operative Group, which is based in Manchester, is one of the UK’s biggest businesses and has powerful market positions in Food Retail, Specialist Retail, Banking and Insurance. It employs over 69,000 people and has more than 3,000 high street outlets. As well as delivering on its financial and operational goals, the Co-operative Group aims to deliver on its social goals, playing an active part supporting local communities and the wider world.
  • The Children's Society is a national charity driven by the belief that every child deserves a good childhood. To that end it provides vital help and understanding for those children who face the greatest danger, discrimination or disadvantage; children who are unable to find the support they need anywhere else. Visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk
  • Aberlour works in Scotland with and for children, young people and families who need additional support to promote their development and well-being. Aberlour runs 47 services which make a positive difference to the lives of around 6,000 children in Scotland every year. Visit www.aberlour.org.uk
  • Extern is a charity working with partners, providing high quality innovative and community based services for people with complex needs. Extern works collaboratively and in partnership with agencies within the Criminal Justice sector, health and social services, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, education and employment sectors and local communities. The aim of the work that Extern does is to realise the potential of children and adults with whom they work by valuing and supporting them as they deal with the difficult situations in which they find themselves. All money raised in the Northern Ireland Co-op fundraising initiative will help fund Extern’s work with children. Visit www.extern.org
  • Tros Gynnal is a Welsh charity set up in 2002 to safeguard and support children and young people throughout Wales. It currently provides 10 services that promote children's rights; keep children safe; listen to children and help others to listen; and help families stay together. Visit www.trosgynnal.org.uk