Tesco shoppers raise vital funds for Help for Heroes in Plymouth

On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August a band of volunteers from Help for Heroes manned the collection buckets at the Tesco Plymouth Transit Way store to raise just under £500 in vital funds during its Tesco National Collection Weekend for the charity.

The team was delighted by the support of Tesco shoppers who gave generously across the weekend, despite the terrible weather, including donations from a number of veterans who have benefited from support from Help for Heroes for their PTSD. One of the volunteer team, Derek Heape, was also a retired Royal Marine who came wearing his Green Beret and took part in the collection despite having to come to the store on his mobility scooter.

Alec Brown, Head of Local Community at Tesco, comments: “We’re incredibly proud to be able to support Help for Heroes with collections at Tesco stores across the country. It was great to see so many fundraisers in stores and we want to thank customers and colleagues for giving so generously to this worthwhile cause.”

Karen Philips who was volunteer team leader for the collection with Help for Heroes, adds, “The support of Tesco’s staff and customers, not to mention our own volunteers, at the Plymouth store over the weekend was fantastic. The money raised is essential to make sure we can keep giving veterans and their families the help that they need to live their lives to the full.

“Although there is no active conflict at the moment, the need for us to help them is greater than ever – seven people are medically discharged from the Armed Services every day, and many veterans are now coming to us for help with mental health issues that have taken years to be diagnosed.”

Karen, who lives in Plymouth, became a volunteer for Help for Heroes because she is ex-Navy herself, having served in the Wrens during the Falklands conflict. She also comes from a military family, from her great-grandparents who served through to her sons, one of whom is in the British Army and one who has just left the Navy. She has volunteered for Help for Heroes for over a year now as, because of health issues, she has a lot more time on her hands and decided that this would be a great way to spend time while giving something back. She says, “Volunteering is a great way to meet interesting people while making a difference – I will definitely carry on to enable Help for Heroes to do the great work that it does.”

Since 2011, collections in Tesco stores in support of Help for Heroes have raised well over £1m to help the charity support Armed Forces personnel who have suffered from injury or illness as a result of their service. The retailer also supports the charity in other ways, such as stocking products that support Help for Heroes in its stores and providing relevant skills when needed at Help for Heroes Recovery Centres.

Tesco has strong links to the Armed Forces, not least because its founder, Jack Cohen, set up his first market stall 100 years ago using his demob money after seeing active service during the First World War. Tesco has signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant which is a promise to ensure that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. In addition, the retailer employs hundreds of veterans and helps hundreds of reservist staff to meet their training commitments.

Help for Heroes offers support throughout the year from its Recovery Centre in Plymouth and community locations across the South West. To get support or give support visit helpforheroes.org.uk