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Apply for a Bags of Help grant for your project

Important Notice

Since our Bags of Help programme began in 2016, we have been able to support over 25,000 projects with more than £75 million in community grants. We’ve been blown away by the success of the scheme and applications for funding have risen significantly. In order to ensure we can consider all the groups that have already submitted applications, we have decided to temporarily pause new applications to the scheme. Please sign up to our mailing list if you would like to be notified when grant applications reopen.

The Bags of Help Centenary grant and Tesco Centenary Fund (Northern Ireland) remain open for applications. 

FAQ's on postponement

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the carrier bag charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the Great Britain*. The projects must meet the criteria of bringing benefits to the community.

Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork who is working with greenspace scotland to support successful projects in Scotland.

How does Bags of Help work?

Bags of Help is a grant scheme for applications from charities and community organisations.

Applications are assessed by Groundwork to ensure they are eligible. In areas where application numbers are high, Tesco colleagues will shortlist the projects to determine which go forward to the customer vote.

Three community projects in each local area will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the Great Britain, with projects changing every other month. Following the vote, the project that received the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

Who is eligible to apply?

Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations (including registered charities/companies), schools, health bodies (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Hospital Trust, Foundation Trust), Parish/Town Councils, local authorities and social housing providers.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of organisations that will be funded.

Applications will not be funded where:

  • Individuals have applied, as groups must be fully constituted
  • Profit-making organisations are also ineligible for funding.

What types of projects will Bags of Help fund?

Dean Castle Tesco Groundwork Bags of Help projectThe types of projects funded will be very broad and will cover the direct costs needed to deliver the project, this could range from:

  • Purchasing items which will benefit local community groups such as sports kit, specialised medical equipment, art and crafts materials, spades, litter pickers, camping equipment.
  • Improvements to a building that benefits the local community such as a Scout or Guide hut, church or village hall, changing facilities for sports.
  • Developing an outdoor space play area, allotment, park, school grounds, woodland or wildlife area.
  • Running a community event or activity such as fun runs, village fete, clean-up day, tree planting, bird watch.
  • Supporting seasonal activities such as purchasing new Christmas lights, supporting a Christmas meal for the homeless or a Diwali celebration event for the community etc.

Bags of Help can fund 100% of your project costs so you do not have to have any match funding. However, if you secured additional funding, there is no limit to what this amount can be and any funding awarded by Bags of Help can form part of your wider project costs.

Your project can be a stand-alone project or discrete, self-contained part of a larger scheme or part of a phased project. You will need to complete your project within twelve months of receipt of the grant.

For any projects that are making a physical improvement to an outdoor space, you will need the landowner’s permission and you might also need other permissions – e.g. planning permission. These need to be in place before you submit your application and the landowner permission form will need to be completed and signed as part of your application.

Projects which are ineligible

  • Work that has already taken place
  • Political donations
  • Fundraising activities or challenges (e.g. costs for a sky dive etc.)
  • Running costs and organisation overheads
  • Conferences or seminars
  • Activities which collect funds for redistribution to other charities or individuals
  • Overseas appeals
  • Expeditions or overseas travel
  • Promotion of a religious or political cause
  • Marketing promotions
  • Research projects
  • Projects or activities that the state has a legal obligation to provide

*Unfortunately Tesco Bags of Help grants are not available for projects in Northern Ireland as carrier bag charge funds are managed centrally by the Government.

Alternative and accessible formats

If you experience or anticipate any barriers with our application process, require help to make an application, or accessing our services and information, please contact the Groundwork Tesco Programme Team to discuss the type of support we can provide.

Your local Community Enabler is also on hand to help - find out more about enablers here

More information:

Applicant Guidance Notes

These notes are a step by step guide to help you complete your application form.

Read more

FAQs about Bags of Help grants

This section answers Frequently Asked Questions about applying for a Bags of Help grant.

Read more

About Community Enablers

Groundwork's community enablers support you to make your grant a success. Find out more about them here.

Read more