THE founder of a "non-alcoholic" social club in Birkenhead has opened a new food shop to help people who are struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.

Rob Cumine opened Rek 41 in March after he "felt it was important to bring recovering addicts and alcoholics with people who just don't like drinking together in a safe space."

Rek 41, on Hamilton Street, is a place where people can come in the evenings which doesn't serve any alcohol.

It has a darts board, pool table, TV to screen football and live music.

On October 28, after wanting to help the community some more, Rob and the team decided to open Rek 41 Food, a not-for-profit store a few doors down from the Rek social club. 

The store uses a different method to keep its shelves stocked compared to other supermarkets.

It buys all of its stock from wholesalers, but keeps the price mark-up as low as possible with that profit going "back into the community".

Wirral Globe: Inside the shopInside the shop (Image: Rob Cumnie)

Speaking to the Globe about the opening of the new shop, Rob said: "We applied to Wirral Council for a grant to support people with emergency food parcels because we felt there was more that could be done and we got the money for that.

"We ran a Share the Love, Share the Food campaign and helped over 300 families in the community. 

"A lot of people were struggling to even get to foodbanks which led to us thinking what more could we do and that resulted in us deciding to open the community shop."

Wirral Globe: Inside the shopInside the shop (Image: Rob Cumnie)

Any food that is donated to Rek's shop for free is given away for free, with a box in the corner of the shop available for people to take whenever they need it.

Rob added: "We have a box where there is free food, there isn’t any questions, people can just take it, there are no questions asked.

"People have responded to it really well, we’re not a hand out we're a hand up, if you want help we will help.

"Every time someone buys something from us the money is probably going to buy someone else a meal and a nice meal too not just the scraps no one else wants.

"We are a community challenging poverty together."

The shop is open Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

For more information about Rek 41, visit here.