Co-op go the extra smile!

Happy Smiles has been chosen as a Co-op Local Cause until October 2020
Happy Smiles has been chosen as a Co-op Local Cause until October 2020

A Wigan disability awareness organisation has had a smile put on its face after a well-known retailer allowed its shoppers to support it for a year.

Happy Smiles, which was founded by Alex Winstanley and Haydn Smith, has been selected as one of the Co-op’s Local Causes.

The generous move means one per cent of people’s trips to the grocery store will go towards Happy Smiles’ work.

The status lasts until October next year.

Alex said: “Everything we do is about community so the Co-op local causes emphasises what we’re about. If we could get at least £1,000 over the next year that would be amazing.”

The community interest company (CIC) was founded when Haydn, who has a form of cerebral palsy and who Alex cares for, had a long hospital stay and had his spirits kept up by people sending pictures of themselves smiling.

Now Happy Smiles aims to improve social inclusion by encouraging people to focus on the abilities of disabled people.

The organisation trains Inclusion Champions who give workshops around disability awareness and inclusivity.

Alex says the work is particularly necessary as since 2011 incidents of reported hate crimes against people with disabilities have increased by nearly 6,000.

Co-op is not the only supermarket backing Happy Smiles, based at Made In Wigan in the town centre, as it is currently involved in Asda Wigan’s green token scheme.