Behind Bags of Help – the people that make it happen

Rebecca Knowles
Rebecca Knowles
Enabler, Groundwork

Tesco is giving the money from the 5p bag charge as funding for thousands of environmental community projects throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Rebecca is one of the people behind the scenes that makes it happen.

I’m an Enabler at the environmental charity Groundwork, working on Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme. We love what we do and have huge ambitions to get everyone out in those green spaces where we live and work, which is what Bags of Help is all about! 

Here’s how the Enablers get involved in running the Bags of Help programme:

1. Reaching out in local communities

With applications now open for round two, I’ve been busy promoting the scheme at every opportunity across the 12 regions I look after. Bags of Help is really popular with those who already know about it, so we are steadily linking up with regions we don’t know so well, trying to find groups and communities that could really benefit from some money

2. Helping groups with killer applications

I’m also on hand to support groups with their applications – I think our enthusiasm pays off here as we have a good understanding of what will make the best kind of project and a strong application.

3. Working with Tesco colleagues

I’m supporting Community Champions (Tesco’s local community ambassadors) in spreading the word about Bags of Help to Tesco teams and customers.

As an Enabler, I also Chair the Shortlisting groups, the stage in the process where Tesco colleagues choose which local projects go to the customer vote. During the first round, the Shortlisting Groups were hotbeds of discussion and it was brilliant to see just how passionate the colleagues were, and get to understand what’s important in individual communities.

4. Collecting customer votes

I visited many of the stores during the customer vote in round one, it was really exciting seeing the displays and such customer enthusiasm. Collecting the results from the customer vote is a huge task for us Enablers as we have to do this for every store in just two days!

5. Seeing the ‘after’ impact of projects

As the successful projects start to develop we’ll be planning visits to the projects in our regions to support them.

I really can’t wait to see the end results. Each of the projects is so inspiring and it is so satisfying to be involved on the ground helping out wherever possible. I plan on capturing some really emotive before and after images to encapsulate the fantastic progress.

Anyone can nominate an outdoor space – a park, street, school playground – and us Enablers then look for groups to take a projects on. Why not do it today?

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