Local Co-Op Helps Fundraising for Church’s Loving Service of the Community

Joan Hawkins, Pastoral Assistant licensed to Ratby Church, has been blessed in her fundraising efforts to support the church’s loving service of the local community, by having them selected as one of their Co-op’s local charities.

Co-op members will be able to donate to Ratby Parish Church Holiday at Home and Lunch Club online or through the members’ app, wherever they are in the country. A percentage of what is spent in the store on Laundon Way, Groby will also be split between the church and another local charity.

Joan simply wrote to the Co-op to ask about grants towards the work and was delighted when they went a step further by voting to make it one of their community charities to support for the next year.

The church’s projects which will benefit from the Co-op’s fundraising, the Ratby Lunch Club, Cinema Club and Holiday at Home scheme, have been developed by Joan Hawkins. Beginning 12 years ago with the Sunday Lunch Club (pictured below), originally supported by members of Ratby Church, it has grown and is hugely appreciated across the Benefice of Groby and Ratby and beyond. They currently support around 80 older people from Ratby, Groby and surrounding villages.

“I’ve developed these projects to bring elderly people together, help manage their isolation and have the opportunity to have fun, socialise and enjoy a meal provided by us”, Joan explains.

“We offer a traditional Sunday lunch and a cinema club each month with light refreshments and annually we do a ‘Holiday At Home’ scheme in which we try to include a day trip to give them an opportunity for a day out.”

“We don’t make any formal charge for anything as we don’t want to exclude people who otherwise wouldn’t participate due to financial reasons. We rely on donations but are finding this more challenging.”

“So, anything we raise through the Co-op can help us continue to do the work we do to bring people together and help fight against isolation and loneliness.”

Members of the Co-Op who wish to support Ratby’s lunch and cinema clubs can do so by selecting Ratby Parish Church Holiday at Home and Lunch Club as their nominated charity in the Community Tab of the app. New Members can do so under the Community section of the online registration form.

First published on: 24th November 2023
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