RURAL primary schools have reaped the benefits of a community grant worth more than £1,000.

The Co-operative’s Community Fund received a cash boost of £1,100 to Duddon St Peter’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), allowing them to buy equipment for an after-school tag rugby club and catering for their school, Mickle Trafford Village School and Ashton Hayes Primary School.

The Community Fund is made up of Co-operative Group members who donate all or part of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme.

The funds are shared with local community projects and groups across the country.

Jill Scott-Davies, from the Duddon St Peter’s PTA, spoke of the school’s gratitude.

She said: “Thanks to this generous grant from The Co-operative, more than 400 children from this area will now have access to top class tag rugby equipment and training.

“Regardless of sporting ability, all children will be encouraged to get involved, gain new friends and find their self-confidence.”

Jennifer Lee, from The Co-operative Group’s Cheshire Area Membership Committee, added: “Because our members own the business, they get a share in any of the profits we make.

“It’s a scheme we’re 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 Group’s businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance.

Jennifer said: “There is about £200,000 available in this region, each year, from the Community Fund, and we welcome applications from local groups and projects for £100 to £2,000.”

Community Fund application forms are available online at or by phoning 0161 827 5879.

Awards are allocated by local Co-operative members’ committees, based on a set of values and principles such as social responsibility and caring for others.