In November P&G, the Proud Sponsor of Mums, launched the Champion Mums' Foundation: A campaign offering hardworking mums the chance to be awarded a bursary from a whopping £150,000 pot. The only stipulation
was that the award had to be used towards making a positive difference to the winners' lives as mums, to their family or to the community. Here Kay Groves, a 41-year-old mum from Paddock Wood, tells us what winning the prize meant to her...
'As I walked down the street towards our house with my two daughters, I let out a sigh. 'Everything has changed so much." I said to Eloise, now 11, and Amy, now 8.
'I'd grown up here, in the small town of Paddock Wood. I'd gone to school here and witnessed the place go slowly downhill. The local park was run down and had been vandalised. Some of the slides were so old they'd been deemed dangerous and removed. The crime rate in the area had been going up, too, because the kids had nothing to do except hang around on the street and get caught up in trouble.
'So me and a few other mums in the area set up the Play Paddock Wood community group. We drew up some plans and ideas to raise money for the play areas in the park back in 2009.
'Since then we'd managed to sort out two small kids' park areas, but the teenage sections still needed tackling. It was a big job, there was a lot of damaged equipment and the work was going to cost thousands of pounds.
"Where are we going to get that sort of money?"we all wondered. It would take endless fundraising events. I decided to look on the internet for some possible funding options.
'That's when I came across the P&G Champion Mums' Foundation, which was offering mums the chance to be awarded a bursary to help themselves, their families or community. It was the opportunity we'd all been looking for.
'I filled in the form but I didn't think we'd hear anything back. When I got a call to say we'd been shortlisted for an award I couldn't wait to tell all the other mums at the group!
'We tried not to get our hopes up, but a couple of weeks later... "We've been awarded a bursary!" I told the group excitedly. It was the best news we'd had since we formed. We immediately started making plans for the new area and even got local kids to share their ideas with us.
'Work started just a few months later. Now the kids have a skate park, basketball hoops, and cricket stumps to name just a few things. There will be equipment that's suitable for all ages and abilities, including children in wheelchairs.
'It's going to help the whole community so much - the kids are all really excited about their new area and can't wait to use it. Instead of waiting years for this to happen, this award has made so many people in our little town very happy now. Thank you so much P&G!'
Behind the prize
For the past 170 years P&G has been developing products to make mums' lives that little bit easier, such as Bold and Shockwaves. As the Proud Sponsor of Mums, it's helping in other ways to say a big thank you for all the amazing things mums do. Find out more online at www.thankyoumum.pg.com