VOLUNTARY groups in Swindon can seek financial help from a charitable fund, which opens on January 7.

The Midcounties Co-operative has invited its members to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to benefit good causes locally.

The Midcounties Community Fund will accept applications until February 8. The £2m fund makes grants twice a year in spring and autumn and has worked in partnership with the network of Community Foundations to do this.

In the last round of grant giving it distributed more than £100,000 to recipients ranging from youth groups to pensioners clubs, community centres to festivals and sports clubs to counselling services.

Maxine Sharman, Head of Community Engagement, said: “As a member-owned business working closely with the community in the areas where we trade, we wish to help voluntary and community organisations who share our values and provide services locally.”

Grants will be made to provide a range of services and assistance that meet recognised needs in the local community.

For details visit www.midcounties.coop and click on ‘Community’.