Share of £6,500 Tesco funding used to prevent Exmouth families falling into poverty

PUBLISHED: 14:59 21 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:12 21 October 2020

Exmouth woman Claire Austin.

Exmouth woman Claire Austin.

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People at risk of poverty in Exmouth have had a helping hand with their gas and electric bills thanks to a grant from a supermarket giant.

The cafe project team at the Open Door Centre preparing the food parcels, left to right: Hayley Coughtrey, Kit Rolla-Baxter and Maureen Jackman. Picture: Helen TribbleThe cafe project team at the Open Door Centre preparing the food parcels, left to right: Hayley Coughtrey, Kit Rolla-Baxter and Maureen Jackman. Picture: Helen Tribble

Tesco donated £6,500 to 13 organisations which support vulnerable groups in the town including Exmouth Friends in Need.

The Facebook-based support group for families in or close to poverty, has used its share to help some people pay electricity and gas bills.

Claire Austin, founder of Exmouth Friends in Need, said: “We’re very grateful to Tesco for this grant.

“It’s helped a lot of families in Exmouth – many of whom have been affected by Covid-19 and lost their jobs.

“The money has been used to help with gas and electric bills so people don’t fall into poverty.”

Another organisation which benefitted from the Tesco grant was the Open Door Centre.

The money helped its café project in its response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Maureen Jackman, leader of the café project, said: “We are truly grateful to Tesco for their support of our work during Covid-19.

“Not only did they act as a collecting point for food donations, that we were able to distribute to local people in need, their grant also supported our Covid-19 response, distributing more than 1500 emergency food parcels, making more than 400 welfare phone calls and helping us to prepare The Open Door Centre to reopen in a Covid-secure way.”

Other groups in Exmouth which benefitted from a funding boost include Exmouth Girlguiding Division and Homes That Smile Exmouth.

Claire De Silva, head of community at Tesco, said: “Due to the sustained need for the emergency support we’ve seen from community groups, we took the decision to extend the deadline for the £500 grant scheme beyond the original 12-week mark, and we’ve been really impressed by the number of groups we’ve been able to help locally.

“It’s excellent to see that the grants have helped support thousands of groups across the UK.

“Over the next few months, we’ve extended our Bags of Help funding round this year to youth groups, which could qualify for some financial support to the tune of £1,000.”


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