Willow Burn wins £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help! Thank you for your votes.

Willow Burn has bagged a share of a £12.5million carrier bag charge fund & is delighted to announce it has bagged £12,000 from a Tesco funding scheme.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the second round of its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects. Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country, and it can now be revealed Willow Burn has been awarded £12,000. We wanted to thank every single one of you who used your token to award Willow Burn with these funds.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life. The construction of a ‘Viewing Deck’ is going to be our community project. This will be invaluable to our patients and give them a peaceful area where they can relax during their stay with us and feel at ease.

This deck will include wheel chair access, permitting patients to access external areas, see views of our gorgeous countryside and have the ability to view the vast wildlife we have here at Willow Burn such as squirrels, deer and rabbits. There will also be bird boxes, squirrel boxes and hedgehog houses within the woods that border the hospice.

The views are beautiful here at Willow Burn, however, they are all green. Hence the creation of a natural meadow creating colour, giving the patients more variety to look at and creating an atmosphere that is generally more pleasant. Wheelchair Access walkways will travel through the meadow and there will be access points west side of IPU, east side of Day Centre and a central walkway between IPU and Hospice.

We hope this deck will give people comfort in their last days and also enable other patients, their friends and family to reflect and relax during a difficult time.

Willow Burn’s Income Generation and Marketing Manager, Katherine Luke, said: “This ‘viewing deck’ is an idea that Willow Burn have been considering for a long time. It will really add something to the atmosphere of IPU and give a great space for patients to explore and relax, it really would mean everything to us.”

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Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and it’s been great to give people a say on how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores from 31 October to 13 November – with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store. Tesco estimates that around six million votes were cast in stores up and down the UK.

Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £24m across 2,421 local projects, and from 1 December, customers will be able to vote for local groups all year round, every time they shop and grants will be awarded monthly. This means that thousands more projects will benefit from the scheme.

Funding will now be awarded to groups who are seeking to use and develop outdoor spaces in ways that will benefit their local community, and money will be available in smaller amounts, making it more accessible. Customers will get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “It’s just the beginning for Bags of Help and we’re really excited about the future. The scheme will be permanently open for applications, and as grants can now be used for not just the development of, but also for the use of local outdoor spaces, we expect even more groups will now have the chance to benefit. It’s projects like these that really help to capture the public’s imagination by illustrating what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to create better places where they live.”

Anyone can nominate a local project and local organisations can apply. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

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