Community-minded shoppers in Dordon have handed over their Co-op ‘divis’ to help a band of dedicated volunteers maintain the village churchyard.
Customers of the Tamworth Co-op convenience store in New Street raised £341 by forfeiting the dividends earned on their purchases.
The money from the co-operative society’s Community Dividend Fund will be ploughed into keeping the grounds of St Leonard’s Church tidy and planting flowers.
The area around the church, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, is a meeting place for the bereaved and others who go there for quiet reflection.
A small core of hardy villagers looks after its upkeep by mowing the lawns, trimming the hedges, planting bulbs, sweeping the paths and removing rubbish in all weathers.
Reverend Ann Simmons, vicar of St Leonard’s, thanked the volunteers, Tamworth Co-op and local shoppers.
“We try to make the churchyard a place of welcome and peace,” she said.
“The volunteers work really hard to keep it tidy and we’re very grateful for that. We’re a small church and we rely on them. We haven’t got the money to employ someone to do the work, but even so the maintenance costs a lot each year.
“The servicing of the equipment alone costs well over £100. We also have to pay for petrol for the strimmers and skip removal. So we owe a big thankyou to the Tamworth Co-op and all those who have donated their dividends. It’s a great help.”
Tamworth Co-op will be giving out around £10,000 from the Community Dividend Fund over the coming weeks to good causes in its trading area.
Julie-Ann Kester, manager of the Co-op Dordon store, said: “Every year we ask our shoppers to nominate an organisation they want to support by donating their dividends and they chose the church. We’re pleased the money raised will help maintain such an important focal point for the village.”