A £1,000 donation from Tesco has helped to keep a much-needed transport charity on the road.
Dawlish Community Transport was desperate to replace the ageing vehicles it uses to regularly transport more than 1,400 Teignbridge people to shops, medical appointments and days out.
It was all set to launch a fundraising appeal, but then lockdown happened and opportunities to raise money for this essential cause disappeared.
Sally Preston, office manager at the charity, said: “As the weeks went by, we just knew we wouldn’t be able to start our campaign. Getting out and about in the community was not an option. It was an incredibly difficult period for us.”
But when pandemic restrictions began to ease, Dawlish Community Transport’s fortunes took a sudden turn for the better.
The National Lottery gave a grant to the charity, further funds came from an anonymous donation, and then Tesco donated the £1,000 from its Community Grants scheme.
Sally added: “The Tesco donation really did top it all off. To now be in a position to purchase a new bespoke fully adapted wheelchair-accessible minibus and a car is overwhelming.
“Throughout the pandemic we continued operating, taking people to essential medical appointments and transporting others who rely on our services to supermarkets and towns.
“But as we move forward and resume some form of normality, we do so knowing that we have reliable, safe and comfortable vehicles for our door-to-door passenger services.
“It’s so very reassuring and a leap in the right direction. We can’t thank Tesco enough for gifting us this fund, particularly during these more challenging times.”
The Tesco Community Grants scheme, in partnership with the Groundwork charity, aims to support many community projects and good causes.
It is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations, with all eligible organisations able to apply for funds now.
Janette Parker, Community Champion at the Newton Abbot Tesco Superstore, said: “So many Teignbridge people rely on the services that Dawlish Community Transport provides.
“Without those services, lives would be badly affected, so I’m really pleased that we were able to make a donation that keeps those essential wheels turning.
“The Tesco Community Grants scheme has already given out a number of donations to Teignbridge organisations, and I’d urge any others that feel they could benefit to apply now.”
The scheme is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. To apply, visit https://tescocommunitygrants.org.uk/
To find out more about Dawlish Community Transport, including ways to volunteer, call 01626 888890.
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