Combe Valley Park Discovery Centre is celebrating after receiving a £2,000 grant from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.
Thanks to the grant, the centre has been able to kick-start improvements and purchase essential equipment allowing them to offer additional educational learning, volunteering opportunities and a community space for local groups and residents.
Bags of Help is run by Tesco, in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £56 million to over 16,000 local community projects.
Simon South, Combe Valley Park project officer, said: “The improved centre now offers a new space for the community to gather, experience the outstanding natural environment and learn about the importance of protecting the park’s wildlife and ecosystems.
“Thanks to the grant, we were able to buy additional items such as café equipment, information boards, gardening tools, planters and educational resources which means the centre now offers more than ever.
“It was important to all of us that we created a space for the community to come and enjoy the park. We want to encourage and invite local people to come and enjoy the countryside park, which was once under-utilised.
“We would encourage any group needing additional funding to sign up for the Tesco Bags of Help programme as we know first-hand how much of a difference it has made to our centre and the local community.”
Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, 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. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
Voting ran in stores throughout January and February with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.
Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.
Groundwork’s National chief executive, Graham Duxbury, 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.”
Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.