Tesco has announced that starting on Thursday (1 December) its customers can vote each month for their favourite community project.
Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community awards programme where the money raised from the 5p bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund community projects across Great Britain. A public vote determines which groups will get a grant of up to £5,000, £2,000 or £1,000.
The announcement is a shift from Tesco’s previous policy of awarding grants every nine months through the Bags of Help initiative. A monthly vote means that thousands more community projects in England, Scotland and Wales will benefit. Voting will now take place from the first of the month to the last Saturday of the month, with projects changing monthly.
The funding is intended for not-for-profit organisations with projects that deliver physical environmental improvement and encourage the use and long-term sustainability of outdoor spaces. Projects include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities. Projects can be a stand-along project or a discrete, self-contained part of a larger scheme or part of a phased project.
An in-store vote each month determines which projects are funded. Three local community projects will be voted on in Tesco stores each month across 200 regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
In each region, the three projects that receive the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant awarded for first, second and third place. According to Groundwork, which administers the fund, more than 7,000 projects will receive funding through this scheme each year.
Applications will be accepted from not-for-profit organisations in England, Scotland and Wales as long as they are constituted and have a governing document.
Commenting on the change, Tesco’s UK CEO Matt Davies said:
“Over the last year, the money raised from our customers buying single-use carrier bags has resulted in £24 million being awarded to over 2,400 local community projects – all chosen by our customers.
"I’ve seen first-hand the diversity of brilliant projects, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in-between.
"In order for even more local projects to benefit from this money, customers will now be invited to vote for their favourite community projects every time they shop with us."
The programme is managed by Groundwork, an environmental improvement charity, in England and Wales and in partnership with greenspace Scotland in Scotland.
Applications can be made at any time and are assessed monthly.
Full details can be found on the Groundwork website
Source: Groundwork, 28/11/2016