Richmond’s Garden Gnomes are calling for your vote to help them bag a big cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Disability charity, United Response, set up the Garden Gnomes as a social enterprise designed to develop the employment skills of people with learning disabilities in Richmond.

For four years now, the Gnomes have been offering garden services within the local community. This enables them to develop their skills in horticulture and business management, as well as offer a valuable service to people in the community.

The Garden Gnomes standing outside a greenhouse

From small seeds, Richmond’s Garden Gnomes has grown into a thriving business which was highly commended at the Richmond Business Awards in 2015.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Garden Gnomes is one of three groups shortlisted in the London Borough of Richmond to receive the cash award. Shoppers are invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

For the Garden Gnomes, the grant would enable them to grow their business by buying a new, accessible greenhouse and new gardening tools. It would also enable them to put on a promotional event where they could showcase their work to the community and develop new business contacts.

Emer Morris, who helps to run the Garden Gnomes, said:

“Through Garden Gnomes, people supported by United Response have the opportunity to meet new people, develop new skills and make a meaningful contribution to their local community. This grant would mean so much to all the people involved in Garden Gnomes, who have worked hard over the past four years to grow this social enterprise into the success it is.”

Siobhan, who takes part in Garden Gnomes, said:

“I like Garden Gnomes because it gives me something to do and allows me time to spend time with my friends. I like gardening and like to learn about different plants and flowers.”

Voting is open throughout July and August and the Garden Gnomes would like to encourage everyone in the community to support them.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £30 million to more than 4,600 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for July and August. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

To find out more about the fantastic work United Response does to support people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs in Richmond, have a look at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/URrichmondkingston

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Please take the opportunity to raise funds for Garden Gnomes while you shop. Participating Tesco stores are:

BARNES EXPRESS, SW13 9EW

EAST SHEEN EXPRESS, SW14 7NX

HAMPTON HILL EXPRESS, TW12 1NL

KEW GARDEN EXPRESS, TW9 3PZ

MORTLAKE EXPRESS, SW14 8AB

RICHMOND EXPRESS, TW10 7NR

RICHMOND KEW RD EXPRESS, TW9 2PQ

RICHMOND METRO, TW9 1HY

ST MARGARETS TWIK EXPRESS, TW1 1RG

TEDDINGTON METRO, TW11 8RF

TWICKENHAM LDN EXPRESS, TW1 4BW

WHITTON HIGH ST EXPRESS, TW2 7LN