A Prestatyn-based community organisation which supports local families has been awarded £1,000 in funding by Tesco as part of a scheme to support young people across the UK.
In the run up to Christmas, charities and community groups who work with young people were able to apply for support from the Tesco Bags of Help communitygrant scheme in association with community charity Groundwork, and Prestatyn and Meliden Community Action Group was one of the successful applicants.
The not-for-profit organisation was founded in 1996 in response to a spate of criminal damage in Prestatyn High Street, in order to help support hard-to-reach young people in the town and surrounding coastal and rural communities.
It runs the Pop In Centre in Meliden Roadas a social hub for young people, and the venue is also used to support older adults in a holistic approach to family support.
Under the guidance of the young people the group supports, the grant has been used to purchase gifts and essential items for older people in the local area who have felt increasingly isolated during lockdown.
Jonathan White, manager at Prestatyn and Meliden Community Action Group, said: “Something that had struck a particular chord with our young people was the loneliness and hardship experienced by older people during the lockdown, especially those who lived alone, or who had no immediate family. As a community group, we had been providing some outreach services to older people throughout the year, but our youngsters wanted to do something that might bring a little extra happiness to those most in need.
“The pandemic has been an especially cruel time for the older population, and many we know have lost friends or loved ones. Our youngsters thought about the types of gifts that older people might like to receive. With the grant, they bought fleece blankets, slippers, socks and gloves. They put together pet packs, toiletry sets and boxes of chocolates and biscuits. Items, which they thought, might be a luxury unaffordable for some.
“The kindness of our young people and the thought and effort put into wrapping the presents has been quite overwhelming for many of the recipients. Some especially enjoyed watching the young people from inside their houses, unload the car and drop the presents off at their doorsteps. For many, these were the only cards and gifts they would receive. We are incredibly proud of the young people who helped with this project.”
As part of the special round of community funding for youth charities, three grants of £1,000 have been 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 Prestatyn and Meliden Community Action Group.”
Graham Duxbury, CEO of Groundwork, said: “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.”