WIRRAL Foodbank has a new kitchen, thanks to a product donation from a company in Birkenhead.

The kitchen was provided by home improvement business Wickes' store in Birkenhead, as part of the firm's community programme.

The initiative aims to support local groups and organisations by providing relevant products to help them with essential maintenance, renovation or complete new projects.

Wirral Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of food banks supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

Mark Theis, Wickes Birkenhead store manager, said: "We're passionate about our local community and when we heard about the Wirral Food bank we were happy to support.

"Usually the products we supply are paint, timber and compost, but occasionally we are asked to support bigger projects like this one. Where possible we look for ways to re-use or re-purpose before we re-cycle.

"We were delighted to be able to supply them with a kitchen that had been returned to our distribution centre. We'd love to hear from more charities and local community groups to see if we can help improve their community space."

Richard Roberts, General Manager, Wirral Foodbank said: "Since January this year we have provided over 4500 emergency food parcels and in the last few weeks we have seen an increase in demand.

"Organisations who refer individuals to one of our 11 foodbank centres across the Wirral tell us that the main reason for referrals is low income; people have exhausted all avenues to maximise income and it’s still not enough.

"To enable us to meet this demand we have incredible volunteers, who give their time to ensure food is collected, sorted, and delivered to our foodbank centres.

"This work is carried out at our warehouse; it is important that we can provide facilities that volunteers and staff can use, in particular a clean kitchen area for hot drinks, lunch etc. Wirral Foodbank contacted Wickes to see if they could help in this area, and we were delighted that they agreed to donate a kitchen, which will make a real difference to our volunteers.

"We are also grateful to Magenta Housing who kindly installed the kitchen at no cost."

If you would like to support Wirral Foodbank, go to: https://wirral.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/

The Wickes Community Programme is open to all local community groups seeking help for improvement projects, and any groups interested in applying for a donation should pop into their local store to speak to the manager.