Tesco Bags of Help

On 5th October 2015 carrier bag charging began in England, bringing it in-line with carrier bag charging schemes already in place in the rest of the UK. As a result, Tesco, like other large retailers, is required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for every single-use carrier bag used by a customer. Proceeds generated from the sales of the bags are given to good causes.

The money raised by Tesco customers is used to pay for a large number of local projects to support community participation in the development and use of open spaces across England, Wales and Scotland. Projects that get the green light as a result of the funding include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events, sports and leisure activities and many more.

Groundwork - the community charity with a green heart - administers the funding and we are working with greenspace Scotland to support successful projects in Scotland.

What is Bags of Help?

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The projects must meet the criteria of promoting community participation in the development and use of outdoor spaces.

Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork and supported in Scotland by greenspace Scotland.

How does Bags of Help work?

Bags of Help is now is always open to applications from community projects.

Groundwork assesses all of the applications received to ensure they are eligible. This is followed up by Tesco short listing groups who decide which projects go forward to the in-store vote.

Three local community projects will be voted on in Tesco stores each month across Tesco regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In each region, the project that received the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant of up to £5,000. The second placed project receives up to £2,000 and third placed up to £1000. Every year, over 7000 projects will receive funding through this scheme.

Key points

  • Bags of Help is funded by Tesco customers through the 5p carrier bag levy
  • Three projects will be shortlisted to go forward to a public vote in each of the Tesco regions every month
  • Each month three projects in each region will be awarded a grant based on the number of votes received: first place receives up to £5000, second place up to £2000 and third place up to £1000.
  • Grants are available to projects in England, Wales and Scotland
  • Projects in Northern Ireland are not covered by this scheme*
  • Projects must deliver a physical environmental improvement and/or encourage use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces

Which types of projects are eligible?

Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organizations (including registered charities/companies), schools, health bodies (eg Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Hospital Trust, Foundation Trust), Parish/Town Councils and local authorities, social housing providers.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of organizations that will be funded.

Applications will not be funded where individuals have applied as groups must be fully constituted. Profit-making organizations are also ineligible for funding.

Sites solely used for religious or political purposes will not be eligible, nor will sites where a charge is made to access the project location such as a children’s farm, or play area provided on private land.

Bags of Help can fund 100% of your project costs so you do not have to have any match funding. However, if you secured additional funding, there is no limit to what this amount can be and any funding awarded by Bags of Help can form part of your wider project costs.

Your project can be a stand-alone project or discrete, self-contained part of a larger scheme or part of a phased project. You will need to complete your project within twelve months of receipt of the grant.

For any projects that are making a physical improvement to an outdoor space, you will need the landowner’s permission and you might also need other permissions – eg planning permission. These need to be in place before you submit your application and the landowner permission form will need to be completed and signed as part of your application

What types of projects will Bags of Help fund?

Bags of Help will fund projects that deliver a physical environmental improvement or encourage the use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces.

Projects that would typically receive funding include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing nature trail in a local park or nature reserve
  • Purchasing bee hives and seeding wildflower meadow on a community allotment
  • Providing forest school sessions in a primary school for 12 months
  • Developing a garden in a hospice, purchasing plants, benches and pergola
  • Supporting artist in residence to work with the community to develop an art trail.
  • Setting up a growing project for sheltered accommodation residents
  • Supporting a gardening project which helps local isolated residents form a gardening club
  • Supporting practical training for young people learning horticultural skills
  • Funding a series of summer events in a local park
  • Funding a programme of beach clean up events
  • Repainting swings and play equipment in a park
  • Supporting community run summer sports and leisure activities in parks.
  • Helping to set up Britain in Bloom local group, purchasing plants, planters, forks, spades and compost.
  • Developing a community garden or orchard
  • Supporting local football club with the purchase of nets, balls and coaching sessions for under 12’s

*Unfortunately Tesco Bags of Help grants are not available for projects in Northern Ireland as carrier bag money is managed centrally by the Government.

To apply or check if eligible, click on the link: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/tescocommunityscheme

Local contact Laura Muir laura.muir@groundwork.org.uk