Courtesy of the supermarket chain’s Bags of Help scheme, the region’s leading autism service and support provider received £2000.

The funds, generated by customers voting via a token system whenever they shopped in specific Tesco stores, has helped fund a bespoke swing set at the Society’s New Warlands Farm and adult short breaks site in County Durham.

Specifically designed for adults with autism and / or learning difficulties the recreation area is a welcome addition to the already incredible facilities which include a vocational training centre, horticulture space, picnic area, luxury woodland lodges and new agriculture training facility.

 John Phillipson, North East Autism Society, chief executive, said: “We are delighted so many people got behind this scheme, using their tokens to vote for the North East Autism Society.

The specialist swings will allow adults with autism, learning difficulties or disabilities to have fun, enjoy the outdoors and best of all do it safely. Thank you all so much. Without your help things like this just wouldn’t be possible.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £52 million to more than 16,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, 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.”

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £60 million to over 18,000 local community projects.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, added:

We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.

New Warlands Farm is hosting an Apple Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10am – 3pm. 

To book and to find out more information about our horticulture courses click here.