MORE than £16,000 has been given to community organisations in Bracknell Forest through a supermarket initiative.

£16,970 has been given out for projects at nine organisations chosen by Co-op members in Bracknell, Sandhurst, and Crowthorne.

Sandhurst Day Centre, a charity on Yorktown Road, that supports older people, was given £1,591 to set up an IT system and pay for its maintenance. They have received funding for the past four years.

David Vousden, Treasurer and a Trustee of Sandhurst Day Centre, said: “The last few years, a lot of stuff has gone online where it used to be done manually. We needed to ensure we didn’t get any holdups with our IT setup - we didn’t want it to break down.

“It brings to the forefront actually how good the Sandhurst community is. The response from the local population is immense, it’s quite charitable and you do realise what a good crowd you have around here.

“We do really appreciate all the support we need from the community. We hope we can return that support by doing the best we can for the older people in the area.”

Residents who have Co-op membership give 2p for every £1 spent on shopping in store, and select a community cause to donate the money to. New causes are chosen every 12 months.

Crowthorne Hopezone, a youth drop-in centre run from Crowthorne Methodist Church, was given £927 to fund a youth worker to lead activities the group offers. They said: “Crowthorne HopeZone is delighted to receive the funding through the Co-op scheme. This summer we will be working with Edgbarrow school in helping youngsters in the transition from junior school to secondary school.

“Going forward we will continue to offer a weekly drop-in club for teenagers, and a weekly Year 6 drop-in to enable relationship building for the following year's transfer.”

Other charities and organisations supported include Promise Inclusion Adult Social Groups, College Towns Parent and Teacher Association, Pinewood Football Club, Great Holland and Sandhurst Brownies, and Crowthorne Old Age to Teen Society (COATS).

April Armstrong, Local Community Fund Manager at the Co-op, said: “We’re pleased that a number of causes in Bracknell Forest have received significant funding having been selected by our members, as part of our Local Community Fund.

“We’d encourage more Co-op members to select a local cause to support in their community.”

Across Bracknell, Crowthorne, and Sandhurst community areas, a total of £7,873 is currently unallocated. The money will be split across community organisations in those areas if Co-op members do not choose a cause.