Thriving junior football club Royce Rangers are celebrating after netting a cash windfall.
The Oakham-based club have awarded a grant for £4,000 which will be used to purchase much-needed equipment.
The funding has come from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme which is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork.
Grants are raised from the sale of carrier bags to help fund local community projects every year and Royce Rangers chairman Ian Razzell was thrilled that his club were the recipients.
He said: “We often have 400-plus children playing football each weekend at our club in Oakham and this money will go a long way to support our growth and ensure that children can continue to take part in the beautiful game.
“We are so proud of the support we get from the community and this latest success is indicative of the value placed on community football in Oakham.
“We were delighted to be accepted for this scheme and were struck by the commitment from parents, families and friends across the county during the eight-week window that the scheme ran in Tesco.
“We will now set about purchasing more much-needed equipment for our growing club and hope to see more children taking advantage of football in the community.”
Since launching in 2015, the scheme has provided more than £43 million to over 10,000 local community projects.
Work will now begin on bringing Royce’s project to life as they are proposing to spend the grant on more of the mobile (on wheels) goalposts, nets, footballs and other training equipment.
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 stores throughout November and December with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.
Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop.
Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.
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.
“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