CHRISTMAS has come early for a ward at Chepstow Hospital and a local Scout group after winning Tesco's "Helping Hand" competition.

The Chepstow store on Station Road ran the competition and invited local residents and customers to nominate charities and community groups they felt deserved some extra help.

Store manager David Kingsland received many worthwhile entries which made the task of selecting the winners very difficult.

He eventually chose the St Pierre Ward at Chepstow Hospital and the 1st Bulwark Scout Group to receive a £1,000 donation each just in time for the festive period.

The Scouts will be putting their donation towards the cost of renovating their "HQ" based off Pembroke Road in Bulwark and the Chepstow Hospital will throw a special Christmas party for their patients.

"Supporting our local community is important to us so we were delighted to be able to run a Helping Hand competition", said David.

"Although it was hard to pick the winners from all of the entries we received, I'm really pleased that we've been able to award both of these organisations with donations of £1,000 as I know how much it means to both of them and what a difference it will make".

The winners were invited in the store to meet David and his team and be presented with their £1,000 donations.

Ward Manager of the St Pierre Ward, Karen Richards, said: "On behalf of the staff and patients on our ward, I'd like to thank Tesco for this wonderful donation.

"We will be using the money to put towards a Christmas party for the ward, presents for our patients and some new Christmas decorations.

"This time of year can be difficult for people to be in hospital and away from home and their families, so while our patients are with us we want to make the ward as festive as possible.

"I'm sure the party and the decorations will give a real boost to our patients".

Treasurer of the 1st Bulwark Scout Group, Hilary Collins, said: "Our Scout building is now over 50 years old and is a vital facility for our young people.

"We are currently in the early stages of planning a major refurbishment of the entire premises which we hope will be as environmentally friendly as possible.

"We want to provide a community facility for all to enjoy for another 50 years".

David added: "It was a pleasure to meet Hilary and Karen and hear more about what their donations will be used for.

"It is great to know that the money will benefit so many people in the Chepstow community".