THREE community groups that help children and families across Bicester and beyond have been bagged £6,000 from Tesco.

The money raised through the 5p bag levy at Tesco stores in Bicester has been dished out and Launton-based reading charity ARCh, Bicester Foodbank and Weston-on-the-Green Village Hall are celebrating the impressive windfall.

Tesco, teamed up with Groundwork to launch the Bags of Help initiative, and will split the £6,000 between the three Bicester causes.

Assisted reading charity ARCh is delighted to have been told it will receive £2,000 from the scheme to help take on more reader volunteers.

In September the charity will be training more volunteers to work with local children throughout the county to help them to learn and enjoy reading.

ARCh development manager Jane Rendle said: "We are grateful to Tesco customers for voting for ARCh to enable us to recruit and train more volunteers.

"The money will help local children develop a love of reading to enhance their lives.

"We are looking for more volunteers to join our training in September and anyone interested can apply with us online."

Shoppers at various Tesco stores have been voting through May and June for their favourite community causes they would like to see awarded a slice of funding.

This narrowed down the entries to just three projects and alongside ARCh, money was also awarded to the Bicester Foodbank and a community campaign in Weston-on-the-Green to create a pop-up library for the village.

The Bicester Foodbank was awarded £3,000 from the Bags of Help scheme and will be using the money to buy a new van.

This will allow the volunteers to be more affective in not only collecting food donations from the various drop off points around town but also continue its support for any people that are in need of food package deliveries.

The scheme also dished out £1,000 to the Weston-on-the-Green Memorial Village Hall red telephone box library appeal, which hopes to be able to create the community asset in the village for all families.

Tesco's head of community Lindsey Crompton said: "Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.

"We have been overwhelmed by the response from our customers.

"The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community.

"We can’t wait to see the projects come to life."

Groundwork’s national chief executive Graham Duxbury added: "The scale and variety of activities supported by Bags of Helps shows what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to make change happen in their local area."

To apply for Bags of Help funding see