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Bags of Help – what Tesco is doing with the 5p bag charge

Sid Sidhu

Community Champion
West Bromwich. UK

16 Feb 2016

Tesco colleagues up and down the UK have been helping decide where the money raised by the 5p bag charge will go in their local area. Sid gives us a glimpse behind the scenes into what it’s like being part of the shortlisting group.

Bags of Help is where the money raised through having to charge our shoppers for carrier bags, will be made available to local clubs, groups, organisations and schools to apply for and help them with any outdoor projects they have planned. In essence this means the money raised will be spent and benefit our local people, area and community.

With thousands of projects applying for funding, colleagues like me have been taking part in Shortlisting Groups and helping narrow down the applicants in local regions to just three projects.  They will then go to a nine-day vote, which will be in store for customers to choose, at the end of February.

What’s great news is that all three will each get a grant of either £8,000, £10,000, or £12,000. Those that don’t make it through can also try again in May when the applications reopen.

All of the applications we looked through were really strong and it was extremely difficult to agree as a group on the best three. We focused on certain criteria such as how impactful the project will be, how many volunteers it will involve and how much the local community appeared to need the project. 

"I can see that this will transform health, lives and communities for the better"

We also looked at different outcomes of the projects, such as whether it would improve general health, get people active or make a community safer – let’s just say there was a lot of healthy discussion! It will be interesting to see which project the customers most prefer when the voting takes place.

I’m passionate about this project because as a community champion, I can see that this will transform health, lives and communities for the better. Also, it will show the doubters who constantly say ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’.

I’m so excited about the whole process and feel privileged to have been a part of the Shortlisting Group. I’ll be rallying together my colleagues and finding out how we, as a store, can support – I’m really keen to do regular visits and see the changes as they happen.

I’m looking forward to feeding back to our customers too so they can really understand where their money is going!

Find out more about the 5p Government bag charge and Tesco

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