GOOD causes have received a festive boost from a shop chain.

Christmas came early for dozens of causes across Andover this week when the Co-op revealed the recipients of £145,000 of funding.

The money will be shared by 36 organisations, all of whom are making a difference to communities throughout the region, including in Andover.

These include Carer Support Wiltshire, Winton Preschool, and Andover and District Mencap, which wants to buy new equipment for its learning disability community café.

This is the latest round of pay outs from the funds generated by over 110,000 Co-op members in Hampshire, and means overall the Co-op has passed on just under £290,000 to 99 groups in Andover since the membership scheme launched in September 2016.

Co-op members, who receive a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to local causes when they buy own-brand products, have a say in how the money is allocated, and are encouraged to select the organisations they wish to support online.

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community engagement at the Co-op, said: “Since the launch of the local community fund our members have helped 12,000 organisations to make a positive difference in their neighbourhoods, and in the last 12 months alone we have invested £19m in local causes.

“The fund is now supporting a wide variety of local organisations, from village halls and support groups to education providers and neighbourhood watch schemes, all of which are helping to make Andover a better, happier, and healthier place to live.”