Denbighshire young people enjoy virtual party thanks to Tesco grant

Young people with additional needs and disabilities in Denbighshire enjoyed a special Christmas party at home thanks to £1,000 of Tesco funding.

Stand North Wales CIC, based in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, was one of the successful applicants for a young people’s grant from the Tesco Bags of Help community grant scheme, run in association with community charity Groundwork.

The organisation (Stronger Together for Additional Needs and Disabilities) was founded by Yvonne Brookes and Sarah McCulloch in 2018 in response to the closure of organisations representing the families of children and young adults with additional needs and disabilities.

STAND NW used the money to pay for a virtual Christmas party for children across North Wales and their families. Families taking part were mailed a party pack which included a piñata, crackers, paper chains and a magic wand to help them take part in an interactive magic show with a local magician from Wrexham. There was also a Makaton DJ and party games.

Yvonne Brookes, co-founder of Stand North Wales CIC, said: “It has been a very difficult year for the children and families that we support. Many young people have been forced to shield, so have been unable to go to school and have missed out on vital contact with others, and their families have had to shield too.

“We had over 50 families registered to take part, which meant more than 100 children in total. They were all really excited, and it gave parents a couple of hours without having to keep them entertained which gave a much-needed rest.

“Being able to offer this experience to the families we support, at no cost to them, gave them a massive boost, and we are really grateful to Tesco and Groundwork for their help in making it happen.”

As part of the special round of community funding for youth charities three grants of £1,000 were made available in each region of the UK.

Keith Jackson, Bags of Help Manager at Tesco, said: “Young people have been among the most affected by the pandemic this year, be it due to school disruption or vital services stopping.

“We’re therefore very pleased to see so many charities and community groups coming forward for support, all of whom carry out vital work for young people in the UK, and delighted to be able to provide much-needed funding for many of them, including Stand North Wales CIC.”

Geraint Hughes, enabler officer from Groundwork North Wales, added: “We have seen a wide variety of groups come forward for funding, including outdoor activities, mental health charities, young carers, bereavement counselling, and charities working with vulnerable children.

“We see day to day the incredible work these groups do, but also how much they need funding to operate, which is often hard to come by, so it is fantastic to work with Tesco to be able to give a little help to some of them.”