A CHARITY which has proven a lifeline for older people faces more demand than ever – 25 years after its volunteers first hit the road.

Food Train supports customers to eat well and live well by collecting shopping for the over-65s and delivering it to their homes.

It is 25 years today since the charity, founded by a group of volunteer community campaigners, made its first five deliveries in Dumfries – and has now shopped an impressive £14 million-worth of items for its customers.

The organisation, which has a strong presence in Annandale and Eskdale, has gone on to make 445,000 grocery deliveries across Scotland – almost 255,000 of them in Dumfries and Galloway.

Staff and volunteers have responded to a 63 per cent increase in demand across the nine Scottish regions in which it operates during the coronavirus crisis.

It is currently supporting 3,100 people nationally every week, about 1,000 of whom are in Dumfries and Galloway.

Food Train chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “If older people aren’t eating well, they’re not living well. If they’re not living well, then their health deteriorates.

“But Food Train is about more than just shopping. We’re here to talk to those we support, to make sure they are cared for and help in any way we can.”