Aspiring young musicians from South Devon are celebrating after receiving £1,000 from Tesco to buy a range of instruments to increase their opportunities.
The grant to Paignton Community and Sports Academy comes as the overall funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme for projects in Devon passed the £2million mark.
Aquara Bidder, head of music at the Academy, said: “We’re very grateful to Tesco for this funding. As a split-site school, our equipment and resources are very stretched, so this grant enables us to purchase some much-needed instruments, allowing students to learn how to play and perform confidently in a range of contexts.
“Access to musical instruments is very limited due to the cost involved for many of our families. We offer free extra-curricular clubs to students to develop their instrumental skills, but many of the keyboards used in lessons are over 20 years old and there is a limited range of alternative instrumentation for students to develop their musicality.
“Having more instruments will encourage student musical collaboration and the opportunity to establish and form bands and ensembles. This will nurture their self-esteem and team work, which will benefit their education as a whole.
“In particular this will be a big boost for our most disadvantaged pupils, helping to increase confidence and raise their aspirations.”
The £2m milestone for Devon, has been reached in only four years. Among the funds awarded £46,000 has been donated to good causes in Paignton alone.
Bags of Help is run in conjunction with the charity Groundwork and uses money raised from bag sales to fund local projects. No profit is made from the sale of these bags. Through Bags of Help, Tesco customers vote in-store for their preferred local project, using the blue token given to them at the checkout. Every two months Tesco hands out grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 in each of its towns.
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 who get to decide how the money will be spent in their community.”
To date Bags of Help has seen £71million fund more than 23,000 local projects across the UK.
Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, 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.
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