Wind­fall to help vol­un­teers in Chob­ham and pupils in Sun­bury

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

THOSE pesky 5p charges for car­ri­ers when you for­get to take a shop­ping bag to the su­per­mar­ket can mount up and make a world of dif­fer­ence to good causes.

And the cheers went up at Sur­rey Wildlife Trust last week when it se­cured £8,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help ini­tia­tive af­ter shop­pers voted to help fund its good work.

Money was awarded to three com­mu­nity-based projects run by the trust, which will en­able chil­dren to get closer to na­ture, pro­vide better out­door learn­ing fa­cil­i­ties and help vol­un­teers pro­tect vi­tal habi­tats on Chob­ham Com­mon.

Aimee Clarke, the trust’s Direc­tor of Ed­u­ca­tion, Peo­ple and Wildlife, said: “This is fan­tas­tic news. We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted with these gen­er­ous do­na­tions from Tesco and so grate­ful to all the cus­tomers who voted for us. This money will make a real dif­fer­ence to both wildlife and the com­mu­nity.

“The do­na­tions will help our out­door ed­u­ca­tion team reach hun­dreds more chil­dren in the Wok­ing and Sun­bury ar­eas, to in­tro­duce them to the won­ders of na­ture. It will also buy new tools for our fan­tas­tic team of vol­un­teers, so they can work to con­serve and re­store im­por­tant wildlife habi­tats on Chob­ham Com­mon.”

The funds were awarded in three ar­eas:

Jour­neys into Na­ture: £4,000 to en­able hun­dreds of chil­dren in Sun­bury to visit the Trust’s new Nower Wood ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre, near Leather­head. The grant will also al­low the trust’s ed­u­ca­tion team to take out­door learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties into schools and pro­vide vi­tal na­ture study equip­ment.

Vol­un­teer Army: £2,000 will buy new tools and out­door equip­ment for the trust’s army of vol­un­teers to help care for Chob­ham Com­mon – the largest Nat­u­ral Na­ture Re­serve in the south east and home to a va­ri­ety of birdlife, in­clud­ing night­jars and more than 300 species of wild flower.

Home for Wild Ex­plor­ers: £2,000 will help pay for a ‘tipi-style’ tent to pro­vide a wood­land shel­ter and out­door class­room for chil­dren, for­est schools stu­dents, vol­un­teers and at wild events – come rain or shine. The money will also help pay for out­door learn­ing ses­sions for chil­dren in Wok­ing.

Tesco’s Bags of Help ini­tia­tive, in part­ner­ship with Ground­work, raises funds from the 5p plas­tic bag charge which ends up ben­e­fit­ing thou­sands of com­mu­nity projects ev­ery year.

Cus­tomers in stores in Wok­ing, Chob­ham and Sun­bury voted through­out May and June, choos­ing their favourite lo­cal projects us­ing to­kens given out at check-outs.

Lind­sey Cromp­ton, Tesco’s head of com­mu­nity, said: “Bags of Help has been a fan­tas­tic suc­cess. We’ve been over­whelmed by the re­sponse from our cus­tomers.

“The great thing about Bags of Help is that lo­cal peo­ple are in­vited to de­cide how the money will be spent in their com­mu­nity.

“We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Aimee Clarke added: “For char­i­ties like Sur­rey Wildlife Trust, that rely so heav­ily on public do­na­tions, schemes like this from Tesco are in­valu­able. The grants will en­able us to con­tinue our im­por­tant work car­ing for na­ture, but also teach­ing the next gen­er­a­tion to care for it too.

“Thank you Tesco.”

The Tesco wind­fall will pay for tools for wildlife trust vol­un­teers who work on Chob­ham Com­mon

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