CHARITY groups and organisations are being encouraged to enter a community grant scheme voted for by shoppers.
The Bags of Help programme by Tesco takes the money raised through the sale of carrier bags to fund local projects in the area.
This year’s programme was launched by Tesco Community Champion for Fareham, Kari Pratt.
She said: ‘We have launched our Bags Of Help awareness campaign and we are celebrating 10,000 projects in the UK being helped with £43 million.
‘In Fareham and surrounding area £84,320 has gone to local community groups which is an amazing amount.’
The previous grants have helped projects in the borough including a disabled access play area and sensory gardens for the group KIDS, Stubbington Youth Shelter for Y Services and lipreading classes for Fareham and Gosport Lipreaders.
Kari and the team want more organisations to apply this year for the scheme where every group receives £1,000.
Customers vote for the organisations and the project that takes second place receives up to £2,000 and first place up to £4,000.
Kari added: ‘We would like to raise the awareness of the grants to the Fareham population and in turn help more groups in the local area.
‘Community groups need to apply to be put forward for the customer vote.
‘We need a lot more applications and raising awareness will hopefully bring in the applications.
‘The money is there just waiting for community groups to apply.’
Kari has been the community champion for the store in Quay Street for two and a half years.
She added: ‘Customers have been amazed that the scheme has given so much money away.
‘They found it to be extremely positive and look forward to receiving their next blue token to help make a difference locally.’
Groundwork is the charity that administers the funding and the local representative is Kevin Dewitt.
Kari said: ‘We are very lucky to have Kevin who is just as passionate about supporting the local community as I am.
‘It helps that this is our community too.’
To apply for the scheme in the Fareham and Gosport area, contact Kevin Dewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit groundwork.org.uk/sites/tescocommunityscheme