Tesco’s new £5m-a-year grant scheme ‘Stronger Starts’ to support schools and children’s groups with funding for food and healthy activities has begun.

The supermarket is asking customers in Renfrewshire to do their bit to help give children across the UK a stronger start in life.

As adverts for the initiative hit TV screens across the UK from 18th August, shoppers are being asked to come into store and drop the Tesco blue token they receive at checkout into the voting box for one of three local schools or young person’s projects.

The grants awarded will help schools and children’s groups provide nutritious food and healthy activities that support young people’s physical health and mental wellbeing, such as breakfast clubs or snacks, and equipment for healthy activities.

Schools or children’s groups that could benefit from a Stronger Starts grant, are also being asked to apply by visiting www.tescoplc.com/strongerstarts.

The scheme, supported by UK community charity Groundwork, replaces the former Tesco Community Grants funding programme.

Recent research from Groundwork found that 78% of schools are currently having to provide food for children from their own budget.

And Stronger Starts research carried out by Tesco in July, found that more than half (51%) of parents agree that their child struggles to concentrate at school if they do not have breakfast.

Other highlights showed that nine out of 10 (90%) 5-11 year-olds want to help others when they grow up and make the world a better place. 92% of them also said that looking after the planet was important to them.

When it comes to their future choice of career, Tesco’s Stronger Starts research found that 86% of 5-11 year-olds would like a job that helps others and a third (36%) dream of one that helps to protect the planet.

Today’s youngsters’ dream jobs include: doctor, nurse, firefighter, midwife, scientist, vet and zoo keeper. However, some youngsters dream of going into more unusual careers such as: bell ringer, Lego builder, flying doctor, author and prime minister.

Unlike previous generations, only one in 10 dreams of being famous when they grow up.

While children dream of being a vet, a doctor or a scientist, almost half (43%) of parents worry that their child might not reach their full potential. When asked what factors would help their child realise their aspirations, two thirds (67%) believe the key is schools having all the resources they need. Almost half (49%) believe a healthy meal every day is a factor; 44%, more support for mental health and 41% think that more opportunities for sport and exercise are key.

Claire De Silva, Head of Communities and Local Media, said: “We are so excited to be bringing thousands of schools and children’s projects our Stronger Starts grants. Our aim is to inspire children who deserve the opportunity to thrive and give our customers the chance to vote with their blue tokens for their local schools and children’s projects that need extra help.”

Schools and children’s groups will be able to apply via Groundwork for a grant of up to £1,500. Grants are for activities that focus on providing food to kids such as fruit for breakfast clubs or snacks to enjoy throughout the day, and for equipment for outdoor and indoor activities.

Successful applications will go to a customer vote in their local Tesco store. Two out of the three blue token voting boxes by the checkout will be dedicated to local schools with the third given over to local community projects nominated by each store’s colleagues. Customers can then choose which of the three projects they’d like to support by voting with a blue token.

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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