Tesco Bags of Help project receives a Royal visit

Her Majesty the Queen today (Wednesday 6 July) officially opened Slessor Gardens which includes a project that was one of the first beneficiaries of Tesco’s Bags of Help funding in Scotland.

Her Majesty visited the Garden in the city as part of the annual Holyrood Week of the official residence in Scotland. Part of the stunning grounds includes a garden created by Bonnie Dundee who were awarded £12,000 in the first round of the supermarket’s flagship local grant scheme – which has so far given £11.7million to good causes and community groups across Britain. The Bags of Help fund comes from money raised by each government’s 5p bag charge.

HM the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh met members of the team who delivered the project before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the official opening of Slessor Gardens.

Keith Davis, Store Manager of Dundee Kingsway store, was delighted by the visit. He said:

“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success across Scotland, England and Wales. To have Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh see first-hand the benefits of the Bags of Help initiative is absolutely fantastic. Tesco colleagues and those directly involved in the project are thrilled with the visit."

Matt Davies, Tesco CEO, UK&ROI, thanked colleagues who were involved in the project:

“It’s great that so many colleagues in Dundee and across the country are getting behind the Bags of Help scheme – helping to put customers’ donations towards local projects.  This is one of the first projects to reach completion and I’m sure we’ll see many thousands more in the months ahead across the whole of the country.

“What makes this special is that it’s a project chosen by people working and living in the local community.

 “Bags of Help only started last October across Scotland, England and Wales and our customers have already donated money to over 1100 projects and through the support of colleagues we hope help many thousands more in the future.”

The Slessor Garden runs from Dundee’s Caird Hall down to the edge of the River Tay next to the new flagship Victoria & Albert Design Museum.

It will provide an event space for concerts, exhibitions and markets and has been named after the Dundee missionary Mary Slessor.

Tesco teamed up with greenspace scotland and Groundwork UK to launch Bags of Help earlier this year. The initiative sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Groups are nominated or apply themselves before being shortlisted to a final three.

Customers then choose which local project they’d like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store. Tesco estimated that around eight million votes were cast in stores across Britain. The Bags of Help Scheme builds on great work done with Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy that were supported through the bag levy contribution of customers until October 2015.

Bonnie Dundee bagged the top award in the city with Friends of Riverside Nature Park, receiving £10,000 and One World Centre, Y Garden also benefitting from an £8,000 award.

Groundwork UK chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said:  “We’re delighted that Her Majesty will be visiting Slessor Gardens to see the excellent work by this group to create a community garden that brings neighbours together, protects wildlife and reconnects children with nature. 

“It’s places like these that are the lifeblood of our communities and we’re sure that the Queen’s visit will be an experience that will live long in the memories of everyone involved.” 

The customer vote for the next round of the scheme will take place in stores across the UK from 26th September – 9th October 2016

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