DONATIONS amounting to almost £4,000 from The Co-operative's first allocations of the year of its Community Fund have helped two community groups in the Stroud area.

Flies on the Wall Youth Theatre landed £1,960 towards staging an Olympic-themed event, and Nailsworth Community Workshop received £1,980 to run an open session for local people.

The Community Fund is created by members of The Co-operative Group who elect to donate all, or part, of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme. The funds are then shared with local community projects and groups across the country.

Zoe Bartlett, from The Co-operative's Membership team, said: "Because our members own the business, they get a share in any of the profits we make. It's a scheme we are very proud of, not only because it gives us the chance to thank members for shopping with us, but because so many people choose to give something back to local communities."

Co-operative members receive a payment twice a year based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the GroupÕs businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.

"There is around £600,000 available in this region, each year, from the Community Fund, and we welcome applications from local groups and projects for £100 to £2,000," said Zoe.

Community Fund application forms are available online at