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Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney bags £2000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme

Emmaus companion preparing unused land for garden kitchen thanks to Tesco

Local homelessness charity Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney is delighted to announce it has bagged £2000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme to put towards its “Allotment Spade to Kitchen Fork” garden project.

The Bags of Help scheme is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Three community projects in East Anglia received funding from the scheme in May with Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney finishing in second place and receiving £2000.

Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney’s project will involve an allotment gardener inspiring and training companions (formerly homeless people), volunteers and staff to create a kitchen garden on unused land at the charity’s Ditchingham location. The area will be transformed into a garden that will service the charity’s community kitchen, coffee shop and retail outlets with food, plants and produce. The project will help the charity’s aim to become self-sustaining, with a focus on cultivation, food production and healthy eating.

Cathy Hembry, Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney General Manager, said: “Staff and companions at our community were delighted to hear that we came second in the Tesco’s community grant scheme. Our companions have expressed a keen interest in transforming our unused land into an area where they can grow produce, and this award means we are one step closer to getting started on the project. I would like to thank all Tesco customers who voted for our project, the support of the local community means a great deal to everyone at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney.”

Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney provides a home and meaningful work for up to 23 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, offering them an alternative route out of homelessness within a supportive environment. Companions work full time while they are at Emmaus selling donated and upcycled second-hand furniture, household items and bric-a-brac at its Ditchingham and Bungay charity shops.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, 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. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in Beccles Tesco Superstore and Southwold Queen St Tesco Express store throughout March and April with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK 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: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

To find out more or support Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney, head to: www.emmaus.org.k/norfolk_waveney.

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