Windfall to help volunteers in Chobham and pupils in Sunbury
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