As a consequence of the ‘Carrier Bag Charging Levy’ introduced in October 2015 which requires all shops to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags and to donate the sales-proceeds to good causes, Radstock Co-operative Society sought views from its members as to who should be the beneficiaries of the money raised.
The Society reached out to its stakeholders to solicit views as to where the funds raised should be directed. A popular theme that seemed to resonate with members was support for local community health provision. Many Co-operatives historically provided financial support to hospitals and health institutes prior to the introduction of the National Health Service, so it was fitting that Radstock Co-operative decided to direct financial support towards cash-strapped community hospital, health centres and surgeries within its trading areas.
A spokesperson for the Society said, “We empathise with the challenges faced by several community hospitals and doctors’ surgeries in meeting the ever-growing demands of local community health needs whilst trying to balance the books. Often, there is insufficient supply of small, portable equipment to monitor patients’ health conditions and existing equipment is in desperate need of replacement. The Carrier Bag charging initiative has enabled us, the retailer, to determine which community causes should benefit. Trowbridge Hospital is an important part of community life within the vicinity of our Castle Mead store and many of our colleagues, customers and members have benefitted from the care they provide. So, we are delighted to make a significant donation to them.”
Simon Bailey, Trowbridge Community Team Clinical Lead for Wiltshire Health and Care said: “We are very grateful to Radstock Co-operative Society. The money will be split across the hospital, benefitting patients from the local community”.