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A charity supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people across Shaftesbury and the surrounding area has been awarded a £500 grant from Tesco as part of a £2m scheme to support local charities and community groups responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shaftesbury and District Carers Association is an independent charity based in Longmead Industrial Estate, Shaftesbury. Working under the slogan HOPE (Helping Other People Evolve) their aim is to provide a safe haven for those who need it – giving them an opportunity to learn new skills, work as part of a team, and even take steps towards paid employment if that is what an individual wants.

Since starting life as a drop-in for people to come and socialise, the charity has expanded to offer a wide range of projects including cookery classes, gardening services and bicycle repairs, to name but a few.

Shaftesbury carers
Some of the food parcels the charity is providing to vulnerable people in Shaftesbury and the surrounding villages.

Due to Covid-19, their face-to-face projects are currently suspended and the £500 grant is being used to provide food parcels to vulnerable people in Shaftesbury and the surrounding villages. These consist of fresh food, tinned and dry goods like pasta and rice, store cupboard items and household goods like toilet roll, toiletries and cleaning products.

They are being provided to people who normally access services provided by the charity to make sure that their health and wellbeing is sustained, and also to people in the wider community who are self-isolating due to their age or medical conditions or who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Eileen Crew, founder of the Shaftesbury and District Carers Association, said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the most vulnerable in our communities hard, and we were determined to keep supporting them despite not being able to run our usual services.

Being able to offer these parcels of essential items is making a massive difference to local people at this tough time, and is also keeping our volunteers busy and active.

We would like to thank Tesco for supporting us to carry on our work, and would encourage other organisations to apply for help too.’

Tesco has received more than 3,000 applications for grants of £500 from groups and charities to its Bags of Help COVID-19 Community Fund. The fund is part of a £30m package Tesco recently announced that aims to support as many groups as possible across the country with grants of £500. This includes women’s refuges, foodbanks, hospices, homeless charities, social isolation groups, schools, charities supporting the elderly and local authorities. The application and payment process is simple to provide support quickly to these important causes.

Any groups that would benefit from this funding are encouraged to apply here. The process is managed through our partner charity Groundwork’s website. www.tescobagsofhelp.org.uk

Tesco’s Head of Community Claire De Silva said: ‘There are so many people facing such uncertainty at the moment, so the Bags of Help grants we are able to provide will help ease the strain where it’s needed.’

shaftesbury carers
One of the food items the charity is providing to vulnerable people in Shaftesbury and the surrounding villages.

Graham Duxbury, national CEO of Groundwork, added: ‘We are pleased that the grants are making a difference to those in need across the UK. WE encourage groups to apply for funding to help support vulnerable communities at this uncertain time.’

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