The Co-operative's Lasting Legacy For Young People With A Learning Disability
Released on: February 17, 2012, 8:16 pm
Young people across the UK with a learning disability have
been given over £7 million opportunities to help to realise their
potential as The Co-operative unveiled the total amount raised for its
charity of the year during 2011.
The grand total reached £7,022, 866 and, the money raised by The Co-operative’s
staff, members and customers will allow Mencap and sister charity ENABLE Scotland to
launch ‘Inspire Me’ – a new project to provide activities and training that will
give thousands of young people with a learning disability the chance to learn new
skills and gain access to employment and volunteering opportunities in their communities.
Austin Healey, the former England rugby union player - and a Mencap celebrity
ambassador - was on hand as The Co-operative announced the fundraising figure and,
actors Sarah Jayne Dunn and Darren Langford also attended the celebration. The
figure is the most ever raised by The Co-operative during one of its charity of the year campaigns and, is the highest figure received by Mencap from such a
Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, said: “Eight out of ten
children with a learning disability are bullied. Young people with a learning
disability face prejudice every day and a lack of opportunities which can make life
a desperate struggle.
“The Co-operative is a national brand, but our roots have always been in the
community and, it is this shared commitment to community projects that sets us apart. This money will leave behind a lasting legacy for a
generation of young people with a learning disability. I am thrilled to say that
together, we have been able to take a massive stride towards creating a cultural
shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country - a key
objective of our commitment to “Inspiring Young People”.
Across the country, The Co-operative – which has a retail outlet in every postal
region and operates businesses including food, financial services, pharmacy, legal
services, funeralcare and farming – has seen its staff, members, customers and
suppliers, who were central to the success of raising this amazing amount, put the
fun into fundraising.
A Santa Dash and abseil, cycle rides, marathons and even a charity single by an
employee band featuring Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, Peter Marks, on
drums kept the money flowing in for this worthwhile cause during 2011.
Mark Goldring, Mencap’s Chief Executive, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the
support shown by everyone in The Co-operative Group, their fundraising efforts and
generosity have made the partnership a great success. I would like to thank the
staff, members and customers for helping to raise such a fantastic sum of money
which will give thousands of young people with a learning disability the chance to
change their future.”
Peter Scott, ENABLE Scotland’s Chief Executive, continued: “We have been astonished
at the commitment shown by The Co-operative Group, employees, members and customers.
The creativity and generosity of staff has been quite remarkable, and the money
raised will give thousands of young people who have a learning disability the
opportunity to build a brighter future. ENABLE Scotland would like to thank each and
every person who has contributed over the course of the partnership.”
“Inspire Me” will work with local communities to change negative attitudes towards
young people with a learning disability. Support will also be available for parents,
families and carers with information events on issues including supported living,
benefits and leisure activities.
About The Co-operative Group: The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual
business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers. It is
the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a
major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and
The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral
services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear
financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and
sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50
commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs
more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn. Further
information is available at www.co-operative.coop
The Co-operative’s Charity of the Year partnership with Mencap and ENABLE Scotland
(2011) forms an integral part of The Co-operative's commitment to Inspiring Young
People. Money raised by its supportive staff, members, customers and suppliers will
give thousands of young people with a learning disability – across the UK - the
opportunity to transform their lives by gaining the skills and confidence needed to
play a more active part in society.
Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and
carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education,
employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a
learning disability to live their lives the way they want. It is also one of the
largest providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning
disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
ENABLE Scotland, is the leading charity for children and adults with learning
disabilities in Scotland. It is a member-led organisation with local ENABLE branches
made up of volunteers, mostly people with learning disabilities and their families
and carers. It too campaigns for people with learning disabilities to live full and
independent lives and provides services to allow people to live, work and take part
in their communities.
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5622
Mob: 07702 505551
Tel: 0207 696 5594
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5614
Mob: 07702 152771
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