Home-town support bags £4,000 of Tesco cash for Pete's Dragons

Published: 15 February 2019

A family who turned the devastation of losing a loved-one to suicide into a charity helping hundreds of people have bagged a £4,000 boost from their home-town community.

Customers at Tesco in Launceston helped raise the sum for Pete’s Dragons through the supermarket’s Bags of Help scheme.

Alison Jordan started the cause, which offers bespoke support to anyone affected by suicide, after her brother Pete Wicks took his own life at the age of 24 in 2010.

The supermarket funding is all the more special to Alison as the Cornish town is ‘where the Pete’s Dragons story begins’. She and Pete grew up in Launceston, where their mum Lorraine still lives.

“We have always been well supported in the area and that support from local residents means a great deal to us,” she said.

Fast-growing Pete’s Dragons currently supports around 300 people in Mid, East and North Devon – providing its full service right up to the Cornish border.

Within Cornwall, the charity offers comfort grants for those in financial distress, ‘hugs in a hamper’ at Christmas and free holidays to people affected by suicide in its holiday home in Exmouth.

“We are currently looking at funding options to extend this range of services and hope to be able to do so within the next financial year,” said Alison.

“The funds raised by Tesco staff and shoppers will help us to do so.

“We are always looking for volunteers and fundraisers in the area, so anyone who would like to get involved is encouraged to get in touch.”

Shelley Vanstone, Tesco Launceston’s community champion, said: “We were delighted to be able to present this cheque to Pete’s Dragons to help them continue to offer support to families devastated after suicide loss.”

Bags of Help, run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, sees money raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year.

Tesco customers choose one of three local projects they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

To find out more about Pete’s Dragons, visit petesdragons.org.uk.