A SUPERMARKET’S community champion is calling for people to come forward with funding requests.

Julie Shepherd spearheads the community-focused project for Tesco, in Chineham Shopping Centre.

The project, which has been running for three years, has seen the store invite youngsters from Great Binfields Primary School, in Chineham, to parade a decorated lion to mark Chinese New Year, to organising in-store collections for Basingstoke Foodbank.

And now Julie is calling for more people to tell her about community events, and local causes, which could benefit from donations.

She said: “What I want from the general public is to hear of more ways in which we can support them. I have met, helped and built relationships with a lot of people in the last three years, which has been humbling, enjoyable and very rewarding.

“However, it feels like it is only the tip of the iceberg. I need people to contact me with their requests so that I can continue to help as many groups as possible within the community.”

Since the scheme was launched, Tesco Chineham has made 552 donations, and put on 567 events. Community champion Julie has won high praise from a number of schools.

Belinda Evans, from Four Lanes Community Junior School, said: “We’ve been lucky enough to be working with Julie for three years.

“She has supported us at a variety of our events, from serving mulled wine and mince pies at our Christmas Shopping Night, to judging the colouring competition at our summer fete.”

And Helen Wogan, admin officer at Great Binfields Primary School, added: “We couldn’t do without her help, and now, through her, we take part in carol singing at the Chineham centre just before Christmas and our Chinese Dragon visits Tesco. Having a community champion is a really good idea, and Julie fulfils the role superbly.”