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

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to priovde free nature based activities to families in Uttoxeter.

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 Uttoxeter 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 family activities through its Wildlings and Wildfamilies events so more children have the opportunity to enjoy, respect and protect wildlife in their area.

Evidence has shown that free play in outdoor green spaces for children improves their ability to deal with stress and focus attention as well as improving social skills.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wildlings and Wildfamilies sessions give children, aged from six months to 16 years the chance to play and explore nature in their local natural spaces.

Katie Shipley, Senior Wildlchild Officer for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We provide activities such as mud kitchens, den building and bug hunting, but the children are free to explore nature in their own way. Our trained and experienced staff are there to inspire the young people with activity ideas and to make sure they are safe.

“The sessions also give parents and carers the confidence to play outdoors with their children. We hope that after attending our sessions they will be inspired to take their children on more outdoor adventures.

“We have delivered activities in Bramshall Road Park in the past and have links with the friends of group and the local authority. We have found that families are keen to get take part in outdoor activities but currently there are limited outdoor opportunities for toddlers and children in the local area. We have also found that paying for activities is sometimes a barrier for families, especially when there are multiple children. We would like to give all families the opportunity to take part in these activities.”

The Trust would deliver weekly Wildlings activities for toddlers in term time and weekly Wildfamilies activities for all ages in the school holidays in summer.

The Trust would also work with the Friends of Bramshall Road Park volunteer group and use Bramshall Park and the Go Garden as locations for the activities.

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.”