Community First News & Updates

Tesco Bags of Help supports Community Organising project to launch new Volunteer Good Neighbour Schemes.

by | Nov 2, 2018 | Community Development, News

Community First is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head to Tesco stores in Chippenham during November and December, to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Community First is one of the groups on the shortlist, with a new Community Organising project which aims to launch new Volunteer Good Neighbours Schemes in Chippenham and Calne.

Local Good Neighbours Schemes are about people offering their time and a helping hand to others in their local community. This could include transport, social activities and a befriending scheme. We are looking for local residents in Chippenham and Calne who want to help others in their community to enjoy a better quality of life by helping them with everyday tasks. 

Over and above transport needs, (Calne is fortunate to have CALNE & District LINK Transport Volunteer Scheme) Community First Community Organising team are experts in helping bring communities together to create opportunities that deliver sustainable solutions. Our Community Organisers are specially trained to reach out, connect and build relationships and believe in an organic approach in engaging with people. They go where the people are, knock on the door and gently shape rather than direct conversation.

The strength of this approach means they are able to listen to a diverse range of differing views and opinions, on many personal issues, which produce collective clarity and action, delivering workable local solutions. Crucially and through our experience, they are able to find and encourage people who may never have thought of getting involved in schemes like this – perhaps because they did not know how. We provide the ‘how’ and have a track record in community development programmes such as Good Neighbours.

Jane Windle-Hartshorn, Head of Community Development at Community First said:

“We are delighted that Tesco has come on board to offer funding to deliver a much needed community-led solution to combat loneliness and isolation in Chippenham and Calne. Community First has had great success with Volunteer Good Neighbour Schemes in other parts of Wiltshire and we look forward to seeing the result of vote so we can get started with this exciting new project.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores in November and December and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £63 million to more than 20,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

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