Tesco reveals winner of Bags of Help scheme in Portsmouth
In its latest round of charitable donations, Tesco stores Portsmouth has announced bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, as one of its winning causes for 2019. The charity will receive a donation of £4,000 from the supermarket chain.
In its nationwide scheme – ‘Bags of Help’ – Tesco allows its customers to periodically vote for their favourite local cause from a shortlist of three, using blue tokens when they shop. The ‘winning’ cause receives up to £4,000, with the second and third runners up receiving £2,000 and £1000 respectively. The company has so far donated over £200,000 to charities in Portsmouth alone.
Founded by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010, Scotty’s Little Soldiers has supported 389 bereaved British military children and young people across the country so far this year. The charity was set up in memory of Nikki’s husband and father to her two children, Corporal Lee Scott after he was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
Earlier this year, Stuart Dark, Grants and Trusts Manager for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, visited staff at Tesco stores Portsmouth’s lead regional store ‘Fratton Park Extra’ to kick off the voting period. Last month he was back at the store to receive the £4,000 cheque from the manager and thank staff.
“It was a real pleasure to come back to Tesco’s Fratton Park and personally thank staff and customers for their generous contribution to our work,” Stuart said, commenting on the supermarket and its customers’ recognition of the charity.
Stuart was accompanied by Royal Navy Widow Sonya Rimmer, whose son Aeron has been a Scotty’s member since 2014, following the death of his father, Petty Officer Mark Rimmer, in 2005 following a brain haemorrhage.
Sonya who lives in Portsmouth with Aeron said; “Scotty’s has been amazing for Aeron. Being part of the Scotty’s family has meant so much to us. It has helped Aeron with his confidence and empowered him to open up and talk to more people about his dad.”
Aeron, who is about to start an apprenticeship as a chef to follow in his dads footsteps, has benefitted from the Scotty’s programmes including a grant for his driving lessons and a holiday at a Scotty’s lodge every year for the last five years.
“We have so much to thank Scotty’s for,” said Sonya, “we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. We’re always happy to get involved with events as the charity has done so much for us. It was an honour to go with Stuart to collect their cheque and know it will go a long way to helping other families like ours.”
Stuart went on to say; “We have a deep connection with Portsmouth, due to its Naval and Royal Marine associations. At Scotty’s, we currently provide long-term emotional, developmental and educational support to 51 children who have lost a parent serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. This local community’s recognition of the challenges these families face and our support of them means a great deal.”
Gemma Morrison, Tesco Fratton Park Extra Community Champion said: “Our Bags of Help scheme is a fantastic opportunity for us to really support local charities, keeping what matters most to our customers and colleagues at the heart of the scheme. When I met Stuart from Scotty’s Little Soldiers, I was humbled by the support the charity gives to children who have paid the ultimate sacrifice; the loss of a parent. Knowing that the £4,000 is going to children from Portsmouth to help them throughout their childhood and challenging periods in their lives was something that our customers felt passionately about.”
This generous donation from Tesco Stores Portsmouth will go a long way to helping the charity reach its goal of helping every bereaved Armed Forces child in the UK.