Tesco Extra shoppers bag a vital £4,000 for work of Exmouth charity helping suicide bereaved families

Exeter Vale Tesco Extra shoppers voted for the Bags of Help cash to boost Pete’s Dragons’ work across Devon

Tesco Extra shoppers in Exeter have bagged £4,000 for a charity helping families affected by the suicide of a loved-one.

Customers at the Exeter Vale store voted for the Bags of Help cash to go to Pete’s Dragons.

The funding, from carrier bag sales, will aid the Exmouth-based charity in supporting hundreds of suicide-bereaved people across Devon.

John Smith, of Tesco’s Combined Community Team, said he and colleagues were ‘delighted’ to hand over the funds. He added: “It’s always interesting to get the ‘inside story’ of charities who benefit from the Bags of Help scheme.

“Pete’s Dragons gave us an insight into a very difficult area of human life which many would probably, and understandably, wish to ignore or ‘shrug off’ as being just too difficult to deal with. However, this sort of sadness and family devastation is unfortunately all too common today.

“We hope this award will help the charity to open all our minds and to help all those in our area who find themselves in such difficult and traumatic circumstances.

“We’re amazed by the dedication and hard work of ordinary folk that goes into organising, running and maintaining charities like Pete’s Dragons. This is often on a very local basis. They all deserve a medal. They certainly deserve our support.

“Our thanks must go to all of our wonderful customers who generously pop their blue tokens into the box on their way out of the store. It is really heart-warming to see how generous our local people are.”

Overwhelmed by support

Pete’s Dragons CEO Alison Jordan feels ‘overwhelmed’ by the support from Tesco and its shoppers.

“The votes we receive reflect the importance that the community places on the service we provide,” added Alison.

“Pete’s Dragons works hard to be able to provide a swift response for those in need and is proud to never hold a waiting list. Tesco shoppers are helping us to maintain that standard.”

Alison founded the charity after her brother, Pete Wicks, took his own life in 2010 at the age of 24.

The charity provides a bespoke service to anyone in Devon who has been affected by suicide bereavement. It is the only suicide bereavement support service of its kind in the South West and the most comprehensive service in the UK.

Picture of Dan Salisbury, customer service manager at the Exeter Vale Tesco Extra, presenting a cheque for £4,000 to Pete’s Dragons chair of trustees Janet Ash. Also pictured are Tesco’s Marta Marsweska and John Smith.

Dan Salisbury, customer service manager at the Exeter Vale Tesco Extra, presents a cheque for £4,000 to Pete’s Dragons chair of trustees Janet Ash. Also pictured are Tesco’s Marta Marsweska and John Smith.

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork. It sees money raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year.

Tesco customers choose one of three local projects they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

Pete’s Dragons is to open its first-ever shop in Exmouth in May.

To find out more about Pete’s Dragons, visit petesdragons.org.uk.

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