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Shoppers help choose Tesco Centenary Grants

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THE results are in after Tesco customers cast their votes this summer to help community projects in Mid and West Wales bag up to £25,000.

The supermarket is marking its Centenary year with two special Bags of Help funding rounds, with a huge £100,000 funding pot in Mid and West Wales.

The first of these special rounds concentrated on groups delivering health and wellbeing benefits. In first place, Cancer Research UK has been awarded £25,000, in second place, Cardiac Risk in the Young has been awarded £15,000 and, in third place, Maggie’s has been awarded £10,000.

Bags of Help, run in partnership with Groundwork, sees funding awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. So far, Bags of Help has awarded more than £5m to groups across Wales since it launched in 2016.

Cancer Research UK will be using its grant to help improve prevention and early diagnosis of cancer by providing free locally-tailored support to GPs and healthcare professionals across Mid & West Wales.

Emma Shiggins from Cancer Research UK, said: “Without our programme, it’s a sad fact that more people in Mid and West Wales would lose their lives to this horrible disease. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what age you are, where you are from or what you do for a living. It affects everyone.

“With support from shoppers and Tesco’s grant the Cancer Research UK facilitators can help to drive further cancer prevention in the region and make sure that more people with cancer are diagnosed as early as possible, when treatment is more likely to be successful, and they have a better chance of survival.”

Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), said: “We are delighted by the news that support from local shoppers has placed the charity 2nd in the vote. The £15,000 grant from Tesco will now go towards funding three cardiac screening clinics across Mid & West Wales, allowing our experts to screen 300, local young people for underlying cardiac conditions.

Dr Cox added: “This has been a great opportunity for us to reiterate that the vast majority of CRY’s community screenings are funded by bereaved families, meaning there is no charge to the individual when CRY’s mobile cardiac screening service comes to a local venue.”

Maggie’s Swansea are using the funding through Tesco to provide free practical and emotional support for people with cancer, as well as their family and friends. With backgrounds in the study and treatment of tumours and years of experience within the NHS, Maggie’s Swansea supports people with the full breadth of a cancer diagnosis, from explaining test results to understanding how best to support a family member.

Maggie’s Swansea Centre Head, Sarah Hughes said: “We are so grateful to Tesco for their support and to everyone who took the time to vote. We rely almost entirely on voluntary donations to be able to support people living with cancer.

“Our Cancer Support Specialists are at the heart of this, being on hand to give anyone who walks through our door a warm welcome, a willing ear and a wealth of expertise to allow them to manage their own personal challenges.”

Keith Jackson, Tesco’s Bags of Help Manager, added: “Congratulations to the recipients of our first Centenary Grant voting round. They are all worthy winners and we hope these awards help them continue their important work in our communities.

“In 2019, we are celebrating a century of delivering great value for our customers. And what better way to celebrate this occasion than by using our flagship community grant scheme, Bags of Help to support even more groups and organisations who are helping to make a difference across Britain.”

The first special Bags of Help rounds concentrated on groups with a particular focus on groups tackling cancer, heart disease and diabetes, in line with Tesco’s National Health Partnership.

Another voting round is underway in stores now, with even more projects sharing in the cash. Customers are invited to vote for the project they wish to receive the top prize using blue tokens handed out at checkouts.

The funding will reach more than 30 regions, with an incredible £3,300,000 up for grabs in total.

Find out more about Bags of Help at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

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Community

Eggstra special Easter treat for Carmarthenshire children

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VULNERABLE children and children of critical workers in Carmarthenshire will be getting an eggstra special Easter treat this year.

Kind donations of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are being delivered to all the childcare hubs and food hubs in the county.

The childcare hubs have been set up to look after the children of critical workers and to support vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of food hubs have also been set up by the council across the county to help families in need. Children who are entitled to free school meals also receive food supplies to feed the whole family.

Now thanks to the generosity of local businesses and organisations, the children and staff are guaranteed a very ‘hoppy’ Easter.

Food wholesaler Bookers in Carmarthen have given 50 boxes of Cadbury’s crème eggs to share out between the food hubs for children receiving free school meals – that’s a total of 1,968 eggs!

And the Co-op stores in Ammanford and Burry Port, Morrisons in Llanelli, Carmarthen and Llanelli Rotary Clubs, and Llandeilo Town Council have donated Easter eggs to give out to all the children attending the care hubs.

Morrisons in Carmarthen are also providing Easter eggs for all the staff working in the hubs on Good Friday; and Carmarthen-based Hafod Bakery will also be making a special delivery of hot cross buns and loaves of bread.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I would like to thank everyone involved for their generosity, both the children and staff will be delighted.

“It is particularly important at this difficult time that we remain positive and take joy in all that we can. These Easter eggs will put a big smile on all the children’s faces, and it also shows how much we appreciate the hard work of all the staff.

“This is an excellent example of what we are trying to achieve as part of our SirGâredig campaign – the incredible community spirit and kindness that is taking place throughout Carmarthenshire during the pandemic.

“It is at times like these that we see the good in people, and I am proud of the people of Carmarthenshire for the support and kindness they are showing one another in these challenging times.”

Thanks also to Morrisons in Carmarthen for delivering Easter eggs to our bin collection crews at the Cillefwr depot today (Thursday, April 9), they were very happy indeed!

If you have an act of kindness you would like to share, please tweet us @CarmsCouncil using the hashtag #SirGaredig or post on our Facebook page @CarmarthenshireCC

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Supporting vulnerable children and their families

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SUPPORT for vulnerable children and their families is continuing during the coronavirus crisis.

Staff from Education and Children’s Services are continuing to offer wellbeing support as well as respite to families that need it.

With schools closed, headteachers and staff at specialist settings are making regular contact to make sure children are receiving the support they need and that the family is coping.

Other families with children that require individual support have been contacted directly by one of the council’s family liaison officers to find out what support is needed and how best it can be delivered, either through one of the childcare hubs, or through alternative arrangements.

Some pupils who need additional support are having their needs met through the childcare hubs and the feedback from parents is that it is working well.

Although schools are closed, Area 43, the school-based counselling service can still be accessed by children and young people from Year 5 upwards. Staff are available to provide information, support and counselling remotely; either online, by telephone or text and through its social media pages. Visit Area43.co.uk for more details.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Respite and support services are continuing for vulnerable children, and will continue to do so as long as staff remain well, and families want and need it.

“It is more important than ever that we have this support in place for families, and it is also important that our young people can still access the counselling service whilst the schools are closed. This is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and this type of support is essential.

“I am also very pleased to receive positive feedback from parents of children with additional learning needs that are using the hubs.”

If you have any concerns about a child or young person, please get in touch by emailing CRTChildren@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or by calling 01554 742322. If a problem occurs out of office hours that cannot wait, please call 0300 333 2222.

More information and support for parents can be found at newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/coronavirus

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Community

Lottery win for local neighbours

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Two people in Ferryside are celebrating today after winning £1,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode.

The neighbours netted the windfall when SA17 5YP was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Wednesday 8th April 2020.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners. She said: “Congratulations to our winners! What a great surprise for them, I hope they enjoy their winnings.”

A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond.

This draw was promoted by Maggie’s which has received over £16.1 million in funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Maggie’s runs a network of cancer support centres across the country. These centres bring people together to help combat the isolation and distress that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.

Many good causes close to the winners have also benefitted from players’ support, and local charities can next apply for funding in August.

For more information on People’s Postcode Lottery, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk or Facebook and Twitter.

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