DUE to the pandemic, children with special needs and disabilities in North London have been suddenly out of their routines and care systems that they have been used to. Action For Kids has used a £500 grant from Tesco to ensure that kids can continue to be engaged through activities.
Action For Kids run a selection of safe, accessible and inclusive pursuits, including sports, performing arts and music, visual arts and crafts, gardening and day trips, all led by the choices and preferences of the participants.
This means that the children who had been missing a crucial part of their lives are able to get a sense of social interaction back.
Tracey Gilbert-Falconer said: “The Tesco emergency grant has helped to deliver these face-to-face activities as safely as possible. The donation was specifically used to fund individual activity packs for attendees’ personal use and for additional cleaning supplies including antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser, and cleaning products for facilities and minibuses.”
Keith Jackson, Bags of Help Manager at Tesco, said: “Due to the sustained need for the emergency support we’re seeing from local community groups, we took the decision to extend the scheme’s deadline beyond the original 12-week mark.
“We’re already working with all kinds of groups up the length and breadth of the country, all of whom are in urgent need of a cash boost in order to go on providing local people with vital services, but we’ve widened this even further.
“Whether you are from a homeless charity, a foodbank, or a support network for vulnerable individuals, you could qualify for some immediate financial support.”
To date, Tesco’s community support has seen the supermarket:
Focus £2million of funding from its existing Bags of Help community donation scheme to charities that are helping the region’s most vulnerable.
Provide an additional top up food donation of £15million of food over the past 11 weeks to FareShare and the Trussell Trust through its Community Food Connection scheme – food they need for distribution to community groups and food banks.
Build on its existing partnership with the British Red Cross, seeing it donate £2million to help the group with the extra costs they face in supporting people in need.
Prior to Covid-19 Bags of Help offered grants of up to £2,000 to community projects, with 1,700 projects funded every three months. Each time they shopped, customers were invited to vote using a blue token provided at checkouts for their favourite project from three local choices. To respond quickly to the Covid-19 crisis Tesco has temporarily removed customer voting and created a streamlined application and payment process to make it easier to get funds out quickly to those who need help most. The new Bags of Help Covid-19 fund provides an easy to access grant of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups during the pandemic.
Tesco Group CEO, Dave Lewis, said: “Our stores are at the heart of the communities we serve and as well as supporting our customers and colleagues, we want to help those who need it most, locally. We will significantly boost our food donations programme, to ensure food banks and community groups have the supplies they need; whilst giving extra resources to the British Red Cross and focus our Bags of Help scheme to deliver more community support where its most needed at this difficult time.”