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Supermarket grants will make ‘massive difference’ to Tower Hamlets schemes

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:34 29 September 2015

Volunteers of the Lower Regent's Coalition, which is in the running for a £1,000 grant as part of Tesco's Helping Hand scheme. Picture: Lower Regent's Coalition

Volunteers of the Lower Regent's Coalition, which is in the running for a £1,000 grant as part of Tesco's Helping Hand scheme. Picture: Lower Regent's Coalition

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Initiatives which provide valuable support to young people and help communities feel pride in where they live are in with the chance of winning a grant.

Arbour Youth Centre, in Shandy Street, Stepney, which is in the running for a £1,000 grant as part of Tesco's Helping Hand scheme. Picture: Arbour Youth CentreArbour Youth Centre, in Shandy Street, Stepney, which is in the running for a £1,000 grant as part of Tesco's Helping Hand scheme. Picture: Arbour Youth Centre

Arbour Youth Centre and the Lower Regent’s Coalition are two of six groups shortlisted for Tesco’s Helping Hand scheme, which will see three winners receive £1,000 after a public vote.

The nominations came about after the Advertiser ran an appeal in partnership with the supermarket.

Zakaria Hussain, 25, project manager at the centre, in Shandy Street, Stepney, said staff were excited about the opportunity.

“It was quite a surprise,” he said. “We had no idea there was this nomination.

“We are really pleased Tesco are invested in the community and helping fund projects like us.

“This would make a massive difference.”

The youth centre, founded in 1946, became a charity in 1967.

It provides activities such as holiday schemes and sports including boxing and taekwondo.

The seeds of the Lower Regent’s Coalition were sown when residents living on or near Regent’s Canal took part in a clean-up hosted by charity Thames21.

Since then, the group has held regular events with more than 80 volunteers in Tower Hamlets, expanding its operations to places such as the Limehouse Cut and Shadwell Basin.

Co-chair Dave Bedford, 57, said: “We are really delighted. We don’t have any real income as such, so getting a grant like this would help us run events and buy more equipment.

“We are attracting more and more volunteers – people want to get involved – and that is really great.”

To vote for one of the shortlisted groups, visit the new Tesco store in Vernon Road, Bow, and fill in a form at the customer service desk.

Voting closes on October 11. The runners-up will all receive £200.

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