Staffordshire Wildlife Trust calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Thursday 9th August 2018

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to run free sessions for youngsters and give them a chance to play and explore at Hem Heath Woods nature reserve in Stoke-on-Trent.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community-funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to 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 their local Blythe Bridge, Longton, Meir and Meir Hay Express Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

The Trust’s project is one of three listed and would allow the charity to run free Wildlings sessions for children aged six months to five years at Hem Heath Woods.

The sessions would give them a chance to play outdoors and take part in activities like mud kitchens, toasting marshmallows and bug hunting. The sessions also give parents and carers the confidence to play outdoors with their children.

Katie Shipley, Senior Wildchild Officer for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Evidence has shown that free play in outdoor green spaces for very young children improves their ability to deal with stress and focus attention as well as improving social skills.

“The sessions currently run every second and fourth Thursday of the month in term time at Hem Heath Woods, but we hope to start running them every week in term time and in the school holidays and this funding would allow us to do that.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout September and October. 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 delivered over £40 million to 9,700 projects up and down the UK. 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 has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community.

"There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

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.”

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