St. Margaret’s Hospice is asking shoppers in Somerset to help it win a cash boost from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The initiative sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales awarded to local projects.

Customers at stores in Burnham-on-Sea, Shepton Mallet, Wells, North Petherton and Bower Manor, Bridgwater, have the chance to vote for St. Margaret’s Hospice to receive a grant during July and August.

As one of three shortlisted causes at the five Tesco stores, the charity is hoping to win the top grants so it can create volunteer community connection groups across Sedgemoor and Mendip.

Community fundraiser Terena Gill said: “St. Margaret’s Hospice provides a range of support services across Somerset, however we know many people are unaware of or reluctant to contact their local hospice. We want to let people in rural communities know that our In-patient Units in Taunton and Yeovil, as well as other community-based services, are available for them.

“If we are successful in securing this funding, our new community connection groups will reach out to our communities and allow people to come together to learn about the work of the hospice, how they can engage with us and the different types of support available.”

St. Margaret’s Hospice cares for people across Somerset who are affected by any life-limiting illness, including patients, carers and their families. One in three people in the county will need its support at some time in their lives. The charity, which last year supported more than 3,800 people in Somerset, needs to raise over £9.5m a year to fund its end of life care services.