Local groups benefit from Tesco’s community fund

Tesco Bags of Help projects in Nov/Dec 2017 and Jan/Feb 2018 (Bradley Stoke).

Three local organisations are currently battling it out to receive the maximum amount of funding from the Tesco Bags of Help fund. Blue tokens are being given out to customers at Tesco stores across the Stokes to vote for the three different projects until 28th February, when they will all be collected and counted. The group with the highest number of tokens will receive £4,000; the second highest will receive £2,000 and the third will receive £1,000 towards their projects.

Since the Bags of Help scheme launched in 2015, Tesco have given over £48 million to 10,000 community projects across the UK. These projects have come from a variety of community groups, charities, schools, clubs and organisations. The projects that are selected to go to voting are ones which will benefit the local community, such as:

  • Purchasing items for local groups such as sports equipment, medical equipment or gardening equipment
  • Making improvements to a community building
  • Developing outdoor spaces such as play areas, parks, school grounds and woodlands
  • Running a community event or supporting seasonal activities

Once three projects have been shortlisted to go to the public vote, the voting will remain open for two months where, during that time, customers can collect blue tokens from the checkout each time they shop in order to vote for their preferred project.

November/December vote

During November and December, the 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts, Bradley Stoke Woodcraft Folk and Brentry Primary School were shortlisted to go to the public vote. At the end of December, the tokens across the Tesco stores were all collected and counted and the winners have now been announced. The 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group received the highest number of votes and will therefore be given the top funding of £4,000. The Scouts are planning on using the money to update their camping equipment, in particular; replacing and extending tents and marquees and purchasing gas stoves, spare sleeping bags, pots, pans and cutlery. Nick Nelson, group chair, commented: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this grant from Tesco and are very thankful to all of our supporters for voting for us. This will make a real difference to the group, giving us the ability to get more young people and their adult volunteers under canvas to challenge themselves.”

January/February vote

Three new projects have now been chosen for in-store voting and they are all hoping to collect as many tokens as possible in order to receive the highest amount of prize money:

Bradley Stoke United FC are looking for funding to provide match day and training goals, flags, respect barriers and balls. They would also like to develop the training of the volunteer coaches. As the club is run entirely by volunteers, they rely on funding and donations to keep their current coaches training up to date and to train new coaches. They are currently in desperate need of new coaches for all of their teams and those coaches will need to be trained to receive FA status. This training involves attending a course which provides an introduction to the Football Association and demonstrates how to deliver safe and enjoyable training sessions for young players. Furthermore, the current coaches need to keep their training up to date to develop their skills and attend regular sessions on First Aid and Safeguarding.
Talking to Phil, who submitted the Football Club’s application, he stated: “We may only be a small club with 170 players across all the age ranges, but we are one of the longest serving clubs in the region and are run entirely by volunteers. In order to keep going, we need to recruit more players as well as more coaches. Depending on the amount of funding that we receive, our priority is to train some new coaches and buy some match day goals as are existing ones are currently being held together with duck tape!”

The Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) will use the money for their Concorde Learning Intervention Centre (CLIC). They would like to create a high quality space for students who struggle to learn effectively in a standard classroom environment. This would be achieved through transforming a disused building into a new facility to provide students from Bradley Stoke, Abbeywood and Patchway Community Schools an alternative to exclusion. This would help students who are currently disengaged from education to build confidence in themselves as learners and develop the skills and attitudes they need to make a positive contribution in the community.
Katie Stobbart, OAT marketing lead, said: “The CLIC is such a worthy cause – it gives kids a second chance and gets them back into school. We already have a building in the grounds of Patchway Community School that has been refurbished to meet basic needs but there is still work to be done. With any money that we receive, we would like to hire a garden landscape company to develop the outdoor space around the building and buy some new ICT equipment for the students to use.”
When discussing the process of applying for the grant, Katie added: “It is a really accessible scheme. The form was easy to complete and we were kept well informed with regular emails.”

The 2nd Patchway Scout Group have so far managed to raise enough funds and use the help of friends and family to replace the units of the kitchen in the Scout hut. However, they still need to replace the flooring, paint the walls and replace the equipment. They are hoping that the funding that they receive from Tesco will enable them to do this so that the kitchen can be back up and running as soon as possible.
As the kitchen is not only used by the Scouts but also by the Beavers and Cubs, it is vital that it is safe to use and has up to date equipment, such as, crockery, cutlery and pans. The kitchen is used on a regular basis to help the children gain a variety of their badges and when the different groups have sleepovers at the hut.
Scout leader Kathy, who submitted their application, said: “We are very grateful for all of the support that we have had so far and without the help of the grant, we couldn’t do all the different things that we do for the children. With the money that we receive from Tesco, our priority will be to purchase new equipment for the kitchen so that the children can cook in the newly replaced kitchen and earn their badges.”

• Look our for a report on the voting result in our April magazine.

How to apply for a Bags of Help grant

If you are a member of a local community group and would like to apply for a Bags of Help grant, you can apply online by filling in a form at
www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp – or just ask in store.

Alternatively, if you have a local project in mind that you think could benefit from a Bags of Help grant, but you are not in a position to apply yourself, you can nominate it.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 14 & 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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