AN international ice hockey champion and a youth theatre are among the community groups and individuals to receive funding from the Co-operative.

Over the last year, the Co-operative in Spennymoor has given away hundreds of pounds to a variety of causes through its community fund.

Spennymoor Youth Theatre received £245 towards its forthcoming production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

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Barry Johnson, who helps run the drama group, said: “We were thrilled to receive the funding. It has been such a big help as we have not had to worry about how we are going to pay for lighting and costumes.”

The society also helped cover the cost of 12-year-old ice hockey champion Ethan Hehir’s trip to the International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in Canada next month.

Councillor John Lethbridge, a Co-operative member, said: “It is lovely to be able to help people in our area. The Co-operative has been supporting the community for years and years and it is such an important part of what we do.”

Others to benefit include: Charlie Hodgson, six, who won an in-store competition to be a match day mascot for Spennymoor Town Fooball Club; the Befriender Scheme, which received £540 towards its work supporting adults with learning difficulties; Brighter Skies, a dementia support group, which received two £50 hampers for its raffle; and Spennymoor Settlement Community Association, which was awarded £800.

Byers Green under-12s football club, Spennymoor Learning Library and Oxclose Community Garden also received support.