13th September 2016

Vote for us to bag share of £12.5m carrier bag charge fund

St Richard’s Hospice is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award.

This month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

St Richard’s Hospice is one of the groups on the shortlist with their Greenfingers Garden Space project. The charity wants to make the most of the grounds of their headquarters in Wildwood Drive, Worcester by creating an area for gardening therapy to improve the health and well-being of patients and their loved ones. This would include building a wheel-chair accessible greenhouse and a summer house which could be used by patients, families and volunteers.

mens spaceCare Director, June Patel, said, “Our Men’s Space group, in particular, are really keen to have somewhere to meet to do some light gardening, talk to others in a similar situation and take some time out in the midst of hospital appointments, health concerns and treatments. Our gardens and grounds are really special, offering a place for relaxation, reflection and connecting with nature which is very therapeutic.”

Mrs Patel added, “We would love shoppers to vote for us and help us make this dream come true for our patients. It would be very well used by lots of our patients and families as a wonderful haven in the heart of our gardens. We are very grateful to Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative for supporting our care in this way.”

Voting is open in stores until 13th November. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

This is the second round of the initiative: the first round saw approximately eight million shoppers vote in stores up and down the country earlier this year.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success. In total 1,170 community groups were awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 – that’s a massive £11.7 million being invested into local projects. We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas.We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help is giving our communities both the funding and the support to create better, healthier and greener places for everyone to enjoy.  We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between. They’re all fantastic projects that make a real difference in our neighbourhoods. We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.

Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.

In the In-patient Unit, specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if appropriate, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it to continue its work.