Chelmsford Star Co-op works tirelessly to invest in, support, donate and fund-raise for community groups, charities and small independent businesses across Essex. It is one of the smaller UK co-ops, nevertheless a culture of goodwill radiates through their 1,000 colleagues, from shop-floor to Boardroom. Individuals and teams from their food, department store, travel and funeral businesses regularly step up to raise money for causes that are important to them. Significant effort involves their Charity of the Year, currently on target to raise £40k for this year’s employee-elected charity, Little Havens Children’s Hospice. Hundreds of thousands have been raised in the 10 years this has been running. However, over 330 other groups from the area – including schools, sports teams, churches and clubs – benefit on a day-to-day basis from their community initiatives. Recent fund-raising efforts from across the Society include half-marathons, fancy-dress days, reindeer hunts and sponsored slimming. Calculations show that, taking into account fund-raising efforts, support for Essex-based producers, and the dividend it awards local members, 33p in every £1 spent in their stores is benefitting the community in some way.