Local youth groups are receiving a welcome financial boost, thanks to Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme.

45 youth groups, including YMCAs, recreational grounds and various youth hubs and projects, will share the £161,428 raised throughout autumn. (See editor’s notes for list of groups)

As the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic have continued to filter down through families to young people, these groups have been offering vital youth support.

They focus on providing local young people with safe, neutral spaces to unwind, engage with their peers outside of school, and access support in all areas from qualified youth workers.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme combines the efforts of members, colleagues, and customers, to donate thousands of pounds to good causes each year.

A contribution is made each time a member shops with their dividend card, colleagues organise fundraising, and customers donate their change through collection boxes in Lincolnshire Co-op outlets.

The scheme celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year, raising £4.5m and has supported over 2,400 groups over the decade.

The NW Counselling Hub (NWCH), which offers counselling, training, and provides a safe and supportive environment for children, young people and families, has received just over £1,662 through the scheme.

A spokesperson from NWCH said: “Thank you so much to Lincolnshire Co-op for selecting our hub as Community Champions, and to everyone who has helped to raise this fantastic amount of money for us.

“We are proud to be able to carry out the work that we do. This funding will assist us in being able to continue providing children and young people with effective, invaluable support with their mental health, wellbeing, and counselling, and help to build towards a more stable, resilient, and positive future.”

Danielle Budworth, Senior Community Co-ordinator at Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “We’re so thankful and grateful to all our members, colleagues and customers for helping to raise such large sums of money for local youth groups.

“It has been great to see so many people get involved and contribute to this amazing total, and we’re so pleased to support the amazing groups as they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of young people within our community.”

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