Mendip Hills partnership bags £1k from Tesco community grants

Mendip Hills AONB has gained more than £1k from Tesco Bags of Help. Picture: Mendip Hills AONB

Mendip Hills AONB has gained more than £1k from Tesco Bags of Help. Picture: Mendip Hills AONB - Credit: Mendip Hills AONB

A partnership which works to conserve the Mendip Hills for future generations has been awarded £1,166 from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.

The Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit will use the funds to provide volunteering opportunities which improve the landscape and people’s health and wellbeing, once Government coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Shoppers could place tokens in boxes in Tesco stores in Weston and Cheddar throughout January and February to fund the project, but, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, voting was stopped in March to reduce the spread of the virus.

As a result, funding was split equally among three causes, and the AONB Unit will use the grant to provide equipment, materials and training for its team of volunteers and young rangers, once when they are safely able to take part in activities up on the hills.

The funds will also go towards groups with learning disabilities or people struggling with their mental health to experience and benefit from the natural world.

AONB project development officer Tim Haselden said: “Thanks to everyone who voted for us. We are very grateful for this funding that will help to support our volunteers, while encouraging and inspiring more people to conserve and enjoy the area of outstanding natural beauty.

“The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting just how much people value open space and nature and the role it plays in supporting public health, and, when the time is right, we look forward to welcoming the public back to the area.”

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The partnership is hopeful the project will get underway in the next 12 next months, ‘when it is deemed safe to do so and in-line with Government guidelines’.

Tesco’s Head of Community, Alec Brown, said: “Bags of Help contributes funds to community projects up and down the country, and we’ve been overwhelmed by our customers’ response who vote in store. We’re looking forward to seeing more projects like this one being brought to life in future.”

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, which provides grants to thousands of community projects yearly through money raised by the sale of Tesco carrier bags.