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  • Almost half (43%) of parents worry though that their child might not achieve their full potential
  • £5m grant scheme launched by Tesco to support schools and children’s groups with funding for food and healthy activities 

Children no longer desire fame and fortune and instead dream of helping others and protecting the planet when they grow up.

Nine out of 10 (90%) 5-11 year-olds want to help others when they grow up and make the world a better place. 92% of them also said that looking after the planet was important to them.

When it comes to their future choice of career, Tesco’s Stronger Starts research found that 86% of 5-11 year-olds would like a job that helps others and a third (36%) dream of one that helps to protect the planet.

Today’s youngsters’ dream jobs include: doctor, nurse, firefighter, midwife, scientist, vet and zoo keeper.  However, some youngsters dream of going into more unusual careers such as: bell ringer, Lego builder, flying doctor, author and prime minister!

Unlike previous generations, only one in ten of them dreams of being famous when they grow up.

While children dream of being vet, a doctor or a scientist, almost half (43%) of parents worry that their child might not reach their full potential. When asked what factors would help their child realise their aspirations, two thirds (67%) believe the key is schools having all the resources they need. Almost half (49%) believe a healthy meal every day is a factor, 44%, more support for mental health and 41% think that more opportunities for sport and exercise are key.

To boost funds for extra food and activity equipment, Tesco is introducing a £5m grant programme, in partnership with Groundwork UK, to give children across the UK a stronger start in life. The grants will help schools and children’s groups provide nutritious food and healthy activities that support young people’s physical health and mental wellbeing, such as breakfast clubs or snacks, and equipment for healthy activities.

Customers can support their local school and children’s groups by dropping the Tesco blue token they receive at checkout into the relevant voting box as they leave the store.

The scheme, supported by UK community charity Groundwork, will replace the current Tesco Community Grants funding programme. Recent research from Groundwork found that 78% of schools are currently having to provide food for children from their own budget. The Stronger Starts research found that over half (51%) of parents agree that their child struggles to concentrate at school if they do not have breakfast.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO, said: “Helping schools and children’s groups access the food and resources they need is vitally important in getting children a stronger start in life. Children with enough food have more energy, better concentration, and ultimately achieve more too. 

“As a business that is at the heart of communities across the country, we know that urgent action is needed to support the development and prospects of young people.  We hope our initiative will help families that are struggling to keep children fed and active.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “Since 2016, working with Tesco, we’ve supported more than 50,000 groups making life better in their local communities. Recently we’ve seen how schools and other groups supporting young people have been playing a much bigger role in ensuring children are getting a healthy start to the day and getting access to spaces and services to support physical activity and mental health. 

“Family budgets are tight and school budgets are tight, but it’s so important that children stay fed, fit and focused, so we’re delighted to be able to prioritise these activities in the new Stronger Starts programme.” 

Stronger Starts is being supported by Kiss Breakfast presenter, Jordan Banjo, who said: “It’s hard for kids to dream big when they’re hungry but by nominating your local school or children’s group, you can make a massive difference to the lives of thousands of youngsters.”

Schools and children’s groups will be able to apply via Groundwork for a grant of up to £1,500. Grants are for activities that focus on providing food to kids such as fruit for breakfast clubs or snacks to enjoy throughout the day, and for equipment for outdoor and indoor activities.

Successful applications will go to a customer vote in their local Tesco store. Two out of the three blue token voting boxes by the checkout will be dedicated to local schools with the third given over to local community projects nominated by each store’s colleagues. Customers can then choose which of the three projects they’d like to support by voting with a blue token.

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