A CAMPAIGN which aims to increase foodstocks at Wirral's main refuge for the needy in time for Christmas has been launched.

Organised by The Co-Operative Funeralcare, it is in aid of The Charles Thompson Mission in Birkenhead. 

Globe readers can donate non-perishable food to the company's nine branches across Wirral, which includes one in Argyle Street, Birkenhead.

Manager Kevin Lomax told the Globe: "We at the Co-Operative Funeralcare are committed to helping those less fortunate than ourselves to have as comfortable a Christmas as possible and this initiative forms part of our community strategy on Wirral.

"Our funeral homes will welcome any donations of food and we are sure that the kind people of Wirral will do what they can to support this excellent charity."

Grocer Charles Thompson founded the mission, in Hemingford Street, in 1892.

His aim was to ease the suffering of children in poverty and donations in that day came from local shops, businesses and individuals.

He died in 1903 aged 61, but his mission survived through his daughter, Annie, who was eventually awarded the MBE in 1953 for her services to the people of Birkenhead.

Bernie Frost, the mission’s current manager said: "We are really encouraged by the support shown by people locally. Because if people didn’t give in we couldn’t give it out.

"For example, you get an old lady who donates £10. At times of austerity, it’s heartwarming to think of others when you haven’t got much yourself. It's local people who we are most proud of."