THE 5p charge for plastic shopping bags has resulted in a bonanza for local charities and schools as they share in a handout of around £26,000 from Tamworth Co-operative Society.
Sixteen organisations have been given grants of between £300 and £2,500 from the Society’s Cash in the Bag scheme in 2018.
The money will be used for a variety of projects and services helping a wide cross-section of the community, including victims of domestic abuse, people with mental health or physical problems and parents of young children needing support.
Schools and social clubs for all ages are also among the beneficiaries, along with a church offering support for young people.
Amington Heath Primary School, Pennymoor Pre-School Nursery, the Tamworth branch of Parkinson’s UK Support Group, 3rd Wilnecote Scout Group, Tamworth District Scouts and Two Rivers Primary School have all received the largest amount.
It will provide much needed extra funds for the schools and nursery. Two Rivers Primary will use its donation to erect a cabin housing a new outdoor classroom. Amington Primary will create a quad area where pupils can gather between classes and during lunchtime, while Pennymoor Nursery will spruce up its garden for youngsters to learn about plants and the environment.
The money will also fund a minibus for Tamworth District Scouts, improved kitchen and toilets for the Wilnecote scouts, and extra facilities for Tamworth’s Parkinson’s support group.
Other awards have been made to Choices CIC counselling service (£2,400 for therapy sessions); St John Ambulance (£2,104 for training); Home Start Tamworth parent support charity (£2,000 for kitchen facilities); Air Cadets 1200 (Polesworth) Squadron (£1,000 for flight simulator equipment); Lichfield and District Soroptimists (£900 to support domestic abuse victims): Polesworth Abbey Mothers’ Union Knitting Circle (£650 for yarn and room hire); Coton Green Evangelical Free Church (£500 for outreach facilities for young people and providing activity mornings and afternoons); Dosthill Park Conservation Group (£500 for an otter holt); Tamworth Castle Bowls Club (£500 for the club and toilet facilities) and Tamworth Darby and Joan Club (£300 for outings).
Tamworth Co-op chief executive Julian Coles said its board members faced a difficult task in deciding who to give the funding from the Cash in the Bag scheme to in 2018.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to support all the organisations who applied to us for funding, but we have tried to spread the money raised by the levy on bags in our food stores as widely as possible to benefit all sections of the community.
“Combined with our Community Dividend Fund which allows shoppers to donate their dividends to a raft of excellent causes, we have given out nearly £36,000 this year to charities, schools, churches and clubs.
“Since the days of William MacGregor more than 130 years ago Tamworth Co-op has been associated with giving back to its community and we’re once again exceptionally proud to be able to distribute such a significant amount to worthwhile causes in our midst.”
The 5p charge on disposable carrier bags was introduced in 2015 to reduce litter. Since then the number of plastic bags used has fallen by more than 80 per cent in England, amounting to over nine billion fewer bags being issued.