Co-op Foundation - Grangetown United

The Community Wellbeing Index allows us to take a much more holistic and asset-based approach to funding

Ella Smyth, Co-op Foundation Funding and Partnerships Manager

Taking an asset-based approach to funding

The Co-op Foundation awarded £80,000 in grant and interest-free loan funding to help the Future Regeneration of Grangetown (FROG) turn a derelict former social club into a vibrant and sustainable hub. 

In addition to bringing an unused eyesore back into community use, the new centre would also help to improve the health and wellbeing of local people by selling affordable healthy food, and running keep fit and dementia-friendly events.

The Community Wellbeing Index (CWI) was an important tool when we made our funding decision. It was clear from most indices that Grangetown was a neighbourhood with a number of challenges. However, the CWI also showed that the community had the potential to pull together and make their project work

About the Co-op Foundation

The Co-op Foundation is Co-op's charity. We help people challenge inequality and co-operate for change so they can share a fairer future.

Over the past three years, we’ve awarded more than £2.1 million in interest-free loans and grants UK-wide to help community enterprises increase their trading activities.

The rise in income this provides means organisations become less reliant on grant funding and more able to improve community spaces longer-term. This is closely aligned to our co-operative values of self-help and self-responsibility.

We also focus on supporting communities with the greatest challenges to ensure our funding tackles inequality and makes a difference where it matters most.

A community united

FROG had been operating for about 20 years when they approached us for funding. The team was passionate about improving their local area, which had been hard hit with job cuts and a reduction in local services when the local steelworks closed.

They were a really collaborative group. They ran local community consultations before approaching us and coordinated their refurb around what local people really needed.

Decision time

Co-op Foundation Trustees agreed funding for FROG in April 2019.

The CWI was a key part of our rationale. We could see the neighbourhood scored comparatively well on education and learning, equality and relationships and this showed us that they were geared up to make a positive impact on local people. Importantly, it also enabled us to take a much more holistic and asset-based approach to our funding. We’re delighted to be working together with FROG and we’re proud that our funding is helping them to make a difference locally.

Two years on from our funding and the centre is continuing to connect local people, despite the challenges of the pandemic. In addition to offering services, they also now run an income generating play area, bar and café, which means they’ll be helping the community longer-term.

Read the latest updates from the Future Regeneration of Grangetown.

The Co-op Foundation’s interest-free loans programme is currently paused. You can find out first when we launch new funding by subscribing to our blog at www.coopfoundation.org.uk/blog

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