The Basement Door and Small Steps to be supported by the Co-op's Local Community Fund
By Heather Nicholls
5th Dec 2023 | Local News
Richmond's Co-op has announced the charities that will benefit from its Local Community Fund this year.
Every year Co-op stores select charities that customers can choose to help through the Co-op Local Community Fund.
The retailer's Local Community Fund (LCF) is awarded annually to organisations deemed to serve one or more of the Co-op's pillars; providing access to food, access to wellbeing and providing opportunities for the young.
Nub News caught up with both charities at Teddington's Light Up for Christmas event.
The Basement Door:
The Basement Door is a Richmond based charity, which helps young people learn new skills, build confidence and make connections, all through their passion for music.
They give young people training and education in every aspect of event management, such as lighting and sound engineering.
Kev, the managing director of The Basement Door said: "The idea is that young people get into work experience and then hopefully get into industry.
"We have a young man called Seamus at the moment who is now Ambersphere Lighting, one of the biggest lighting companies in the world.
"He's done Eurovision this year, he's done Ed Sheeran's lights, he's worked at Glastonbury. He's had all this experience and he's only 18 – he's got all of this from us training him to start with and then he's picked it up and taken it on further."
He added that he is very excited about partnering with Co-op: "It's always really good to partner people, we often look to partner with people for more than one event so a year with Co-op is incredible.
"I know that last weekend we'd already got £50 and we hadn't even advertised it yet.
"Co-op is all over the place and we're really hoping that it brings a lot more money in and we can expand what we're doing and work with more young people."
At the moment they are fundraising for a new, Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) compliant van so that they can continue to get the equipment from venue to venue. They are hoping that the partnership with Co-op will help them towards this goal and also help with other equipment that they need.
Small Steps is a Richmond based charity which provides specialist support for babies and young children who have a physical disability.
They have 90 families a week that come to them and they support children from the age of two months to five years old.
Anita Coppola, Head of Small Steps, said: "We're excited about raising the profile, we've been going for 25 years and not a lot of people know that we're here so we're really excited about getting out into the community and raising awareness - it thrills me to be partnered up with Co-op."
"We have to raise £400000 a year to keep going. Its free for all our families but they give back by raising awareness, doing cake sales etc."
She added: "We don't know how much we're going to raise, but any amount will be amazing.
"It costs £5,000 per child per year to come to Small Steps which is quite a lot of money, any amount of money will help us get resources, staff the physical therapy, buy new equipment."
"Nobody anticipates having a child with a disability so we're there to say to the parents it's okay, you're on a slightly different journey to what you thought you were going to be on but it's okay.
"We'll make you a cup of tea, we'll show you some practical strategies, we'll introduce you to other parents and we'll get the foundations right at the beginning."
When Co-op members buy selected Co-op products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes into their Co-op Membership account from which they nominate one of the chosen charities.
The Co-op will also give the same amount to support community organisations and local causes.
Co-op Membership helps support Co-op's national charity partners and Local Community Fund causes. See www.coop.co.uk/membership.