Pioneering local NHS project needs votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

The team behind an award-winning website that is helping people with their recovery following a stroke or brain injury is bidding to bag a generous grant from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The scheme sees grants of up to £4,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores being awarded to local community projects.

Three projects in every Tesco region have been shortlisted and the mytherappy website is among them. Mytherappy has been developed by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s stroke and neuro rehab team and offers patients, carers and clinicians a bank of tried and tested apps that can be used to help with recovery.

Shoppers are invited to head along to Tesco stores in Barnstaple to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Mytherappy would use the funding to expand the project so that the website can help more patients across northern Devon and beyond.

Over 5,000 apps have been tested by mytherappy’s national network of app testers, which includes patients and their carers, and clinical specialists. The recommended apps are featured on the mytherappy website and come with a star rating and user feedback. The apps are categorised depending on what they can help with.

Since launching the project, the team has demonstrated that app usage has improved health outcomes for people in northern Devon who have had a stroke or brain injury. The website is now being used by clinicians and patients across the UK and worldwide.

Ruth Siewruk, advanced practitioner occupational therapist for neuro and stroke, said: “We are extremely grateful to be shortlisted for a grant from Tesco.

“We are hoping to use any funding we receive to expand the project and develop our website further to feature recommended apps that can help with other health problems, such as musculoskeletal conditions. We would also like to purchase more tablets and chargers for our patients in northern Devon.

“We want to empower patients to manage their health in the way that is right for them, and our website helps those who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury to do exactly that. Expanding the project further will help us to help more people.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout January and February. Customers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Alec Brown, head of community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for January and February. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Tesco has teamed up with community charity Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme. Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding. We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

More information

  • For more information about mytherappy please visit:
  • Mytherappy has been shortlisted for and won a number of awards this year, including an Academy of Fab NHS Stuff Award and an Advancing Healthcare Award, and was invited to showcase at the national NHS Providers conference.


  • The Bags of Help initiative is supported by money raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores.
  • So far Bags of Help has awarded £40 million to 9,700 community projects.
  • For more information please visit:
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Last updated: March 6, 2018