Midcounties Co-operative & Restore: a beautiful partnership!

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This festive season, we’re sending a huge hug to everyone at The Midcounties Co-operative, Banbury, for giving their time and resources tirelessly to Restore over the past two years! Without support from local friends, businesses and organisations like the Co-op, we would be unable to provide the depth and breadth of support, across Oxfordshire, to people in recovery from mental illness.

The Midcounties Co-operative spreads some joy through its Regional Communities strategy, by donating a share of its profits to local communities. They also have an established volunteer programme that enables Co-Op staff to step outside their normal place of work, and have a positive impact, where they live. Restore has been absolutely delighted to have benefitted from this support, over the last two years. On behalf of our service users, dedicated staff and volunteers: THANK YOU!

Setting out bright and early for the sponsored walk: the amazing Co-op team with members, staff and volunteers from Restore, on World Mental Health Day, 2019

Jacqui, Project Co-ordinator at our Banbury Project, The Orchard, expressed her gratitude like this:

‘Our partnership with Midcounties has been the most fantastic opportunity for us, enabling us to gain a higher profile in the community.  Because of the partnership, our members have been given greater opportunities to learn new skills though our ability to purchase materials and machinery that we would not have been able to afford without the generosity of Midcounties Charity Partnership. We have also really valued meeting their wonderful employees who have given up their time to work with us.

Through a range of fundraising activities and events, we have been incredibly lucky to have gained over £8,000 which we have used to buy resources that directly impact our members’ experience at The Orchard Project. These include: new sewing machines, a large lathe, an American fridge/freezer, a members’ fridge and freezer, a dishwasher, a camera, light boxes, lighting and a new boiler.’

Getting creative with the help of one of our new sewing machines

Here are some of the highlights from our two wonderful years of partnership with The Co-Op:

  • Co-op staff raised £600 by selling Restore’s handmade gifts in its stores. They also offered employability workshops on CV writing and interview skills to help those affected access employment.
  • Co-op staff representing all the local Banbury shops, joined members and staff from Restore in a day-long sponsored walk on World Mental Health Day 2019, trekking round the town and out to local villages. It was a lovely opportunity to get to know each other – there might have been one or two blisters afterwards!
  • Co-op gifted their Carrier Bag Good Causes Fund to Restore.
  • Co-op staff formed a painting team at The Orchard, working hard to spruce up our well-loved but well-used spaces
    The Co-op team painting the Quiet Room at The Orchard earlier in the year

    From everyone at Restore, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Midcounties Co-op for all the outstanding support we have received over the past two years. We’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year!


If you, your friends and family or your workplace or business, would like to partner with us in 2020, we’d love to hear from you! The ways you can support us in fundraising, and in challenging the stigma round mental health, are many, varied and exciting, so if you’d like to explore this, please do get in touch: