VIDEO: Look inside the newly-expanded Weston-super-Mare Foodbank

PUBLISHED: 17:30 28 November 2017

Mayor Jos Holder and mayoress Roz Willis with Foodbank manager Frederique Wigmore and volunteer Jenny Colyer at Weston Foodbank.

Mayor Jos Holder and mayoress Roz Willis with Foodbank manager Frederique Wigmore and volunteer Jenny Colyer at Weston Foodbank.

Eleanor Young

Weston-super-Mare Foodbank has provided emergency food packages to almost 4,000 people this year and is now expanding its services to broaden its offering.

Weston Foodbank in numbers

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The foodbank, in North Street, has moved upstairs and is now an independent entity, breaking away from Lighthouse Charity – which acted as an umbrella organisation supporting for a number of town projects.

The growth is designed to provide a better and more detailed service for the people who rely on the foodbank for emergency provisions.

The centre’s manager Frederique Wigmore says the move will help meet the rising demand, with 4,057 people using the service last year and 3,955 already asking for help in 2017.

She added: “The upstairs part of the building will give us the opportunity to give more to our clients and to help them live well on a low income.

“We will be looking at hosting cooking lessons, basic budgeting and basic parenting courses to teach them how to live well with what you have.

“The Trussell Trust network, which runs the foodbanks, wants to offer more than just food.

“It is looking at how many jigsaw pieces can we put together to help our clients have a better life. We do not want to just be a plaster. We want to be the preventative medicine and the vitamins which keep you healthy and happy.

“If it can stop a couple of people who use our service on a regular basis then we will have achieved something.”

The charity showcased its refurbished upstairs area, which includes a crèche, kitchen, meeting rooms and dining area, for the first time last week.

It will also be working with other Weston agencies, who refer people to the service in the first place, to provide more tailor-made support.

Mayor Jos Holder, who visited the charity on its open day, expressed his support for the expansion as a necessity.

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