Thames21 seeks votes to bag a share of Tesco Bags of Help for Crayford project


17 October, 2016:

Thames21 is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The charity, which puts healthy rivers back at the heart of community life, will be using the money to transform the Thames Road Wetland in Crayford into a green oasis for the community and local schools to enjoy.  The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which will award grants to environmental and green space projects of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted – and from October 31 to November 13 shoppers are being invited to vote in store for who they think should take away the top grant.

The Thames Road Wetland site contains  plants which are rare in London and Kent,  and which need protecting. It is the home for many fascinating species including dragonflies and frogs, and is visited by many birds, including one of the few Bitterns recorded in Bexley.

John Bryden, Senior Programmes Manager at Thames21, said: “The site is open to public access, so a large volume of fly-tipping and litter has accumulated here, which poses a risk to the wildlife.

“To transform Thames Road Wetland into an educational and leisure resource for schools and the community, Thames21 will hold volunteering activities with local schools, businesses, voluntary groups and residents. These will include raising awareness among local people of the problems littering causes wildlife habitats, enhancing people’s understanding of urban wetlands and the rich diversity of wildlife residing in it.”

Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

The stores where people can vote for the Thames Road Wetland project are: Longlands Express, Erith Dotcom Centre, Erith Express, Welling Bellgrove Express, Bexley Blackfen Road Express, Northumberland Heath Express, Welling Upper Wickham Express, Welling, Dartford Express, Temple Belle Dart Express and the Dartford Estate Hill Express.

This is the second round of the initiative: in the first, approximately eight million shoppers voted, resulting in £11.7 million being invested in 1,170 community groups.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas.

“There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between. They’re all fantastic projects that make a real difference in our neighbourhoods.”


Notes for editors


  • 1,248 organisations from Tesco’s 416 regions up and down the UK will receive a share of the Bags of Help fund.
  • The initiative is supported by money from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags
  • More than 2,800 groups up and down the country applied for grants from the scheme. These were whittled down to three in each of Tesco’s regions

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About Thames21

Thames21 is an environmental charity putting healthy rivers back at the heart of community life. Through environmental improvements, education, research and advocacy efforts, Thames21 is inspiring and influencing effective and lasting change by working hand-in-hand with communities to deliver tangible and measurable improvements for urban rivers. | Registered Charity No. 1103997

Media Contact

Kirsten Downer

Communications Officer at Thames21

07711 701 696

020 7248 7171