Wildlife Charity Bags Thousands in Tesco Grants!

Tuesday 15th August 2017

Volunteers - Jon HawkinsVolunteers - Jon Hawkins

Surrey Wildlife Trust is celebrating the news that it’s won donations totalling £8,000 from Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ initiative, after shoppers voted in stores to help the charity’s work.

The money has been awarded to three community-based projects run by the Trust, which will enable school children to get closer to nature, provide better outdoor learning facilities and help volunteers protect vital habitats on Chobham Common.

“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,” said Aimee Clarke, the Trust’s Director of Education, People and Wildlife.

“The donations will help our outdoor education team reach hundreds more children in the Woking and Sunbury-on-Thames 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. This is fantastic news!”

The funds have been awarded to the Trust to spend in three separate areas:

• Journeys into Nature: £4,000 to enable hundreds of school children in Sunbury-on-Thames 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 to 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 to help pay for a ‘tipi-style’ tent to provide a woodland shelter and outdoor classroom for school 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 the Woking area.

The projects were voted for by Tesco customers as part of the ‘Bags of Help’ scheme. The initiative, in partnership with Groundwork, raises funds from the five pence plastic bag charge and benefits thousands of community projects every year. Voting ran in stores in the Woking, Chobham and Sunbury-on-Thames areas throughout May and June, with customers 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.”

The Trust’s 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!”

If you would like to spend your spare time working for wildlife and helping conserve nature in areas like Chobham Common, why not sign up as a Surrey Wildlife Trust volunteer? Find out how you can get involved here >>

The Trust’s new £1.1m Nower Wood education centre near Leatherhead provides a unique woodland learning environment and is accessible to all ages and abilities. The private nature reserve welcomes 15,000 visitors every year for school visits, ecology courses, woodland workshops, birthday parties and more. Find out more about this wonderful wild facility here

Tagged with: Business, Fundraising, Outdoor learning, Volunteering