Saltbox's CareLink telephone befriending and welfare checking service for older people in Stoke 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 CareLink is one of the groups on the shortlist for North Staffs! 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
What difference does a service like CareLink make to individual lives across Stoke? The quote from Andrew came on one of our heritage day trips out to Gladstone Pottery Museum in May. He was telling us exactly what the service means to him in terms of being a connection to the outside world. He also said that he'd seen five hearses come through the older person's housing estate where he lives in two months. "I call it Funeral Row" he said. We want to make sure that CareLink is always going to be there for people like Andrew for as long as possible so that they have ways of taking their minds off health worries or other issues that may result in mental decline.
How can I vote? Voting takes place from 1 July - 31 August in four Tesco branches in the North Staffs area: Hanley, Kidsgrove, Fegg Hayes and Audley. Each time you make a purchase in one of those branches during the voting period, you will be given a token which you can then use to cast your vote by putting it into the CareLink bucket on your way out.
Is that all I need to do? Your vote would be amazing, but there are other ways to support us by encouraging others to also lend us their votes. Throughout the voting period we will be creating and sharing posts about the service on Twitter and Facebook, and we'd really appreciate if you'd share them! You can even join our Thunderclap to share our launch post automatically - no effort needed. And if you're not on social media, you can still help us by downloading a poster and putting them up.