Twelve groups in Gloucestershire have received money as a result of the Government's levy on plastic bags.

Co-op Midcounties has donated £14,000 from its carrier bag good cause fund, which sees the Society distribute money raised from the compulsory charge.

One of the causes to benefit is the Aston Project in Cheltenham, which has received £3,815 from Co-op Midcounties. The donation will help the youth charity, which is led by Gloucestershire Police, to offer more guidance, support and positive incentives, such as fun days out, for vulnerable young people living locally.

Gloucestershire Young Carers, received £1,480 to provide support services and respite for young people that care for family members.

A further £1,354 will enable Cotswolds Community Awareness to provide resources such as clothing and toiletries to more families and individuals in crisis throughout rural Gloucestershire.

Other organisations to receive money include mental health support group Home-Start Gloucestershire, defibrillator installation charity Community Heartbeat Trust, community transport group Cotswolds Friends, Bourton Rovers FC, Cam Youth and Community Centre, Stroud and Tetbury District Scout Council, and Randwick Scout Group.

Nicola Nolan, Police Sargeant at Gloucestershire Police and project lead for the Aston Project, said: “A huge number of young people in Gloucestershire are vulnerable to being exploited by criminal gangs or engaging in criminal activity themselves. Our aim is to change the paths of these youngsters by pairing them with role models and offering incentives to engage them with activities that will help them to develop their skills and make a positive contribution to the community.

“As a charity we rely on the support of others, and Co-op Midcounties’ generous donation will enable us to reach out to even more people in need of our support in Gloucestershire.”

Matt Windridge, leadership team ambassador in Cheltenham and Gloucester at Co-Midcounties said: “The carrier bag good cause fund enables us to support a host of groups that do fantastic work in the community.

"The donations form part of the Society’s Regional Communities strategy, which sees Midcounties members and colleagues come together to provide impactful and sustainable support for local community groups through volunteering and fundraising initiatives.

“We hope our donations will help to make a difference to the lives of many and we look forward to continuing to help the groups expand their provisions and reach out to even more people through further fundraising and volunteering activities in the future.”