'We are a small school of 127 pupils, so our fundraising events tend to raise limited amounts. Applying for grants means we can raise a lot of money more quickly and with less manpower.
We had seen other school projects advertised as part of the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, so we decided to apply to transform our neglected memorial garden. We submitted our project proposal, which then went to a judging panel. It took three to four months for our project to be selected and to go live in our local Tesco store, where it was displayed alongside two other local projects. A public vote ran for a month, with shoppers using tokens to vote for the cause they wanted to support. We promoted the scheme with constant reminders on social media.
All projects in Tesco's scheme win money, but the amount rewarded depends on the vote - first place receives £4,000, second place £2,000 and third place £1,000. Our initial bid was for just under £4,000, and we won £2,000. This paid for our artificial grass, with funds from our Christmas fair completing the work.
This success led me to explore other supermarket funding. Two of our interactive whiteboards needed repairing, and we were delighted to find Morrisons' grants scheme, which has a section dedicated to education. This time, the whole process was done online. We submitted an in-depth project proposal in October and found out we were successful in December. Within a week we received a cheque for the £2,700 we had applied for.
When looking into supermarket grants, be aware that often they need to incorporate the community, meaning it pays to show what benefits your project will give. Remember that the community includes parents as well as pupils, and ensure you clearly state the outcomes.'
Gemma Praid, PTA chair, Stallingborough Primary School, Stallingborough, Grimsby (127 pupils)