GOOD causes in Trafford received an early Christmas present this week, when the Co-op revealed a £30,000 funding boost.

The money from the Co-op’s local community fund will be shared by 12 organisations across South Manchester including The Larkhill Centre Community Association, the Willows Primary School Parent Teacher Association, and the Friends of Templemoor.

The Larkhill Community Centre, was set up around 15 years ago by residents of the area after the previous building, home to the Red Cross burnt down. Leo Murray, Chair of The Larkhill Centre Community Association said: “We’re a very busy community centre, it is in use 9am-9pm every day including weekends. We are always scratching our heads for ways to raise money and we were absolutely amazed to receive almost £2000. I emailed all of our users to tell them we had been accepted and asked them all to support our local Co-op stores and everyone has been really supportive. The money we have got will go towards decorating the inside on the centre – it is used so much it is very much in need.

“We are currently looking for new members of the younger generation to help out the community centre.”

Since the scheme launched in September 2016, the fund had invested £61,000 to good causes across the area.

The money comes from members of the Co-op buying Co-op branded products from food stores, its funeral services, or online electricals.

The members earn a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to a local good cause of their choice.

Jess Laffly, chair of Willows Primary School Parent Teacher Association said: "We were delighted to receive our share of the Coop Community Funding this month. This money has helped us achieve our PTA objective to encourage more children to walk, scoot or cycle to school, resulting in a healthier lifestyle as well as reducing congestion on our school road, making it safer for pupils and residents.

"We have achieved this through the purchase and installation of a new canopy and scooter storage outside the Early Years end of the building, which the Coop donation has been put towards. As well as providing shelter for those scooting/walking into school, this space will also doubles up as a lovely outdoor learning area. Many thanks to everyone in the local community who has supported the Willows Primary School PTA."

Rufus Olins, Director of Community and Campaigns at the Co-op, said: “It’s great to be delivering an early Christmas present to those communities and individuals that need it most. Making a positive contribution and making great things happen locally has been at the heart of The Co-op’s purpose since 1844, and the local community fund is a good modern example of this. Along with our members, we’re proud to be making a difference to hundreds, if not thousands, of local lives – It’s not just about giving money, it is about developing relationships with good causes in local communities, and over the past year we have been touched by hundreds of ways in which people have made their own communities better places to be.”