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Boston Women's Aid calls out for votes

Boston Women's Aid is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 - all raised from the 5p bag levy - being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Boston Women's Aid is one of the groups on the shortlist with their DISCOVERY PATCH project.

For children to recover from domestic abuse they need to learn to play again. We want to give them a safe place to play.  

The grant will create an outdoor space at one of our refuges where children have a safe space to play, relax, make friends socialise. Where mothers learn to help their children create a fairy palace, a castle, have a dolls tea party, build a sandcastle -- so "normal" to most families, but not to many of those in refuge. Developing stronger bonds between mother and children helps the whole family recover more quickly and become part of their community again.

Sarah Smith, operations manager at Boston Women's Aid said: "Many families coming into refuge have suffered years of abuse, unable to be part of a community or learn skills; children have broken education and often don't even know how to play and develop their imaginations.

"BWA operates two refuges in Boston, providing safe places for 8 families fleeing domestic abuse. The average stay in refuge is around 6 months.

"We support families to recover and start afresh, and give ongoing support for as long as they need it. Discovery Patch will help us give children a much better chance for the future.

"I hope that the people of Boston will vote for Discovery Patch at Tesco's Boston store."

Voting is open in stores throughout May and June. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco's Bags of Help project has already delivered over £28.5 million to more than 4,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco's regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: "We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can't wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities."

Groundwork's National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: "We've been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between. We're looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life."

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

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