CHARITIES and community groups across Wales have now been awarded grants totalling £5 million thanks to Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.
Since launching in 2015, the scheme, run in conjunction with the charity Groundwork, has seen £71 million from the sale of Bags for Life fund more than 23,000 local projects across the UK.
This week the total grants awarded passed the £5 million mark, with 1,877 projects across Wales benefitting to date.
From ukulele clubs in Swansea to street football in Newport, the projects supported have been diverse, but have all been voted for by Tesco customers because of the difference they make in their local community.
One recent recipient of a Bags of Help grant is Ysgol Pen Y Pil in Cardiff, which received £4,000 in funding for its Dig-It and Learn project.
To coincide with its tenth birthday, the donation allowed the Rumney primary school to provide children with an engaging outdoor learning area, giving teachers the space to inspire youngsters’ creativity in the great outdoors.
With the weather getting warmer, the donation means the school can now hold lessons outside to develop children’s literacy, numeracy and creativity skills further. The new learning area has fired up the pupils’ imagination, increased their sense of wellbeing and pride in their environment.
Spencer Jones, Head of School, comments: “The space wasn’t being used to its fullest and we were struggling with a lack of funding to do anything about it. However, because of the Tesco grant, we’ve been able to realise our dreams and create a meaningful space for the kids.
“The school now has outdoor reading tipis and an outdoor stage to develop the kids’ oratory skills. Following a recent visit by Ofsted, the inspector loved the project and recommended that other schools visit us to learn about what we’ve put in place!”
Tesco’s communications manager for Wales Rhodri Evans said: “It’s really important to us at Tesco that we play an active role in the communities we serve. One way we can do that is through our Bags of Help scheme, and we are really proud to have now awarded more than £5m to groups across Wales.
“Every one of the 1,877 projects we have supported in Wales has been voted for by our customers in their local Tesco stores, so we know that the funding is going to groups that are really valued in their local communities.
“We award grants of up to £4,000 every two months and we encourage any community groups that could benefit from the funding to put themselves forward.”
Graham Duxbury the National Chief Executive of Groundwork, which administers the scheme, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK 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.”
Customers are able to vote for a Bags of Help project in Tesco stores using a blue token given to them at the check-out. At the end of voting period, votes are collected and three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.