TWELVE charities across Oxford received an early Christmas presents this week when Co-op supermarket made a £50,000 donation.

'Organisations which make a difference to communities across Oxfordshire' have been given money from the Co-op local community fund including the Friends of Benson Library, Oxford Hospitals Charity and Woodcote Volunteers.

Read also: New restaurant offers warm welcome at Oxford Business Park

Since the scheme started in 2016 the amount Co-op members have invested in causes has reached £149,000 and nationally the scheme has seen nearly 4,500 groups sharing over £17 million, bringing the total value of the fund since its launch to over £56 million.

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and shared value at the Co-op, said: “The local community fund is now a well-established way of supporting local causes who help to make communities safer, happier, and healthier places to live, and we’re delighted to be able to support such a wide range of local groups as they help to improve wellbeing in Oxford.

Bicester Advertiser:

“By choosing their local cause online, our members are telling us what really matters in their communities, and we have used this information to help us identify new groups to support throughout next year. Feedback from our own Community Wellbeing Index – which highlights the areas where communities can benefit from support – has shown us that we should be focused on protecting and improving community spaces.

"This helps people reach their full potential by developing their skills, and promoting health and wellbeing.”

Read also: Men convicted for illegal fox cruelty at Kimblewick hunt spared jail

The Co-op membership scheme means that for every selected Co-op branded items bought 1% of the money spent on the product goes towards supporting local causes through the Local Community Fund.

To support the scheme shoppers can cotribute to the money raised and choose a cause to support by logging onto Co-op's membership website at coop.co.uk/membership.