Boost for Friends of Durris Forests

Banchory’s Friends of Durris Forests has been awarded £1,640 to help run sessions for schools.

The award was made by the Co-operative’s Community Fund, which first established 15 years ago by members of The Co-operative Group who elect to donate all, or part, of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme. The funds are then shared with local community projects and groups across the country.

Julia Mackay, of Friends of Durris Forests, said: “We are thrilled with the generous grant we have received from The Co-operative, which will help us with to provide sessions for schoolchildren.”

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, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.

Stephen Kelly, The Co-operative’s Membership Officer for Grampian, said: “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.

“There is over £300,000 available in Scotland 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 0844 262 4001. 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.