KCC’s Public Protection team is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to help safeguard vulnerable people from telephone scammers.
Tesco teamed up with the charity Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which provides grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 for local community projects.
Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Mike Overbeke, Head of KCC Public Protection, explained its Safeguarding Vulnerable People from Telephone Scammers project, which is on the shortlist.
He said: “Every year in Britain 3.2 million people hand over cash to mass marketing scams run by organised criminal groups who use tricks to get personal or financial information. Half of all scams start with a phone call. Vulnerable Kent residents receive about 58 nuisance calls a month – three times the national average.
“The criminals target the most vulnerable and Kent residents are believed to have lost more than £12million to scams in 2017. Victims are left feeling mentally, physically and financially devastated.
“Our goal is to help stop criminals reaching their targets. The purchase and installation of trueCall telephone call blockers for vulnerable residents will enable them to continue living safely in their own homes for longer.
“The system blocks 99% of nuisance and scam phone calls. Twenty Kent residents with trueCall installed received 19,705 phone calls, of which 12,024 were classified as unwanted calls. The device blocked 12,007 of those calls.
“By supporting this project, you will help reduce the risk of financial harm, anxiety, confusion and distraction accidents. Vulnerable residents will be able to answer their phone with confidence ensuring improved health and wellbeing.”
Voting is open in Tesco stores in Folkestone during May and June and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.
Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already provided more than £71 million to 23,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.
Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help contributes funds to community projects up and down the country and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers voting in their local stores. We’re looking forward to seeing more projects brought to life.”
Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”
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.