Funding provided by Midlands Co-op has helped Terrence Higgins Trust in the Midlands to support children in the city who are born to HIV positive mothers or are HIV positive themselves.

A £3,000 grant, from Midlands Co-op’s Making a Difference Community Dividend Scheme, has been donated to the group to help fund children’s events and activities, such as parties, play equipment and a clothing exchange.

Karen Higgs from Terrence Higgins Trust, explained: “Midlands Co-op’s grant will really help to make a difference for so many children in Birmingham who are either born to HIV positive mothers or who are HIV positive themselves. We can now hold lots of parties and other fun activities for them.

“Children living with HIV can face many struggles in their day to day lives and can find it hard to mix with other children. Giving them the opportunity to meet people who understand and support them, can really help them to make friends and move on with their lives.”

The fund forms part of Midlands Co-op’s ongoing commitment to return a percentage of its trading profit to the community it serves. The usual amount being put back to the local community will be 1% of its trading profit. However, to celebrate the launch year, Midlands Co-op has donated 2% of its trading profit.

The Making a Difference Community Dividend scheme is being administered by the Society’s Head of Community and Co-operative Affairs, Cyrrhian Macrae.

Cyrrhian commented: “This scheme sets the Midlands Co-operative Society apart in terms of providing for the communities it serves and demonstrates what a forward-looking organisation it is, where corporate social responsibility features highly. We hope that our grant will really help to make a difference to Terrence Higgins Trust in Birmingham .”

A specially selected committee made up of board directors and Society employees decide which groups or causes will benefit from the dividend. Judging takes place every three months. The second quarter applications have now been judged and the third quarter are due to be judged shortly. The next applications need to be returned by 5 August.

Application forms are available from Midlands Co-operative Society stores, its Corporate Affairs Department, Central House, Hermes Road , Lichfield, Staffordshire , WS13 6RH and via its website – www.midlandsco-op.com. A dedicated hotline number – 01543 421366 – has also been introduced for anyone who wants more information about the dividend awards and/or their application.

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