Devon’s Tesco customers have voted to plant thousands of new trees across the county, provide breaks for unpaid carers, and increase child literacy.
Tesco marked its Centenary year with two special Bags of Help funding rounds, with a £100,000 funding pot in Devon.
And the winners of the second round have now been revealed. In first place, Devon Wildlife Trust has been awarded £25,000. In second place, Westbank received £15,000. In third place, Libraries Unlimited South West got £10,000.
The Centenary Grants reached more than 30 regions, with £3,300,000 up for grabs in total. The winners of the first round of Centenary Grant funding in Devon last year were Devon Air Ambulance Trust, HeadsUP Mental Health Awareness Limited and Pete’s Dragons.
Devon Wildlife Trust will use its funds to combat Ash dieback disease by planting thousands more of the trees across the county.
Peter Burgess, the charity’s Director of Conservation and Development, said: “We’re very grateful to Tesco for this Bags of Help Centenary award. It will make a huge difference in our efforts to help the wildlife and landscapes of Devon recover from the loss of thousands of ash trees to the terrible disease ash dieback.
“The grant from Tesco will help us grow, plant and nurture thousands of native trees, helping to replace the gaps left by missing ash. It will mean that we can work with communities across Devon in caring for trees which will provide pleasure for people and a vital resource for wildlife for decades to come.”
Westbank will use its funds to ensure that Devon’s unpaid carers get a break and are able to find out about further support.
Billy Hartstein, Head of Carers Services at Devon Carers, said: “We are really grateful to Tesco for voting Devon Carers one of their Bags of Help Centenary Grant scheme recipients. The funding we receive will enable us to enhance and provide more support to adult carers across Devon.
“In particular, we will use the funding to deliver healthy breaks for carers in Devon. Without the financial support through this grant scheme from Tesco, we would not be able to deliver additional support such as this. So from all at Devon Carers, we thank everyone concerned for including us in the centenary celebrations.”
Libraries Unlimited South West’s money will create a free activity that helps children to become happy, confident readers, so they can do better at school and improve their life chances.
Kate Mackenzie, Service Development Manager at Libraries Unlimited, said: “We’re thrilled to receive this grant from Tesco and would like to thank Tesco and their customers for choosing and supporting us.
“This donation will enable us to refresh our existing reading schemes to create an exciting new scheme which is relevant to today’s children. Our new reading activity will make reading fun and rewarding for children over five. We’ll be working with young people, schools, parents and carers to create the new scheme.
“As a charity, we’re continually developing what we do and how we connect with our local communities. We know that embedding a love of reading in children is important to children’s academic success, helps with their wellbeing later in life and improves self-esteem. We want Devon and Torbay to be leading the way in literacy levels, and this new reading initiative will help us to engage with children across the county.”
Keith Jackson, Tesco Bags of Help Manager, said: “Congratulations to the recipients of our Bags of Help Centenary Grants. They’re all worthy winners and we hope this funding helps them continue their important work in our communities.
“The Centenary Grants are a huge part of our celebration of a century of delivering great value for our customers. And Bags of Help applications have opened again for 2020, as we aim to support more groups and organisations helping to make a difference across Britain this year.”
Graham Duxbury, national CEO of Groundwork, said: “This funding will go a long way in enabling more local communities to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. We look forward to seeing the final results of the projects and the positive outcome the funding will have on local communities.”
Bags of Help applications have opened for 2020 and customers are invited to vote for the project they wish to receive the top prize using blue tokens handed out at checkouts. Three groups will be awarded grant amounts of £2,000, £1,000 or £500 every three months.
Find out more about Bags of Help at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.
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