Jarrow kids benefit from ‘plastic bag tax’

Children, parents and staff at the revamped allotment at Bede Childrens Centre in Jarrow.
Children, parents and staff at the revamped allotment at Bede Childrens Centre in Jarrow.

Toddlers are enjoying green and clean fun and learning after an allotment at their children’s centre was revamped.

They now have a haven of safety and tranquillity after the grounds at Bede Children’s Centre, Jarrow, had a £12,000 makeover.

The money was given by retail giant Tesco through its Bags of Help campaign, administered locally by community charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle after being raised from the 5p carrier bag charge.

Groundwork says more grants are available for community projects - and has urged applications before the June 3 deadline.

At Bede Children’s Centre, two skips of rubbish were removed before two sheds and three raised beds were assembled.

Fruit trees and sensory pollinators were also planted, benches built and seating areas created. Wood chipped paths and two mud kitchens for children to enjoy messy outdoor activities constructed.

Sarah French, business director of Groundwork STAN, said: “Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle is administering the Bags of Help scheme in this region. It is a great opportunity for organisations to benefit from the fund for projects that really matter in their community.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tynside Council, added: “This funding has allowed us to completely transform the allotment and we are able to offer families even better facilities so that their youngsters can learn about and enjoy the great outdoors in a safer and more pleasant environment.”

Tesco teamed up with the national federation of Groundwork trusts last year to launch Bags of Help, with grants awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

So far eight million shoppers have voted in stores for projects they want to help, with 1,170 benefitting.

Grant applications can be made to Rebecca Maw on 0191 428 1144 or by emailing rebecca.maw@groundwork.org.uk

More information about the fund is at www.groundwork.org.uk/stan