Help is on hand for people who are struggling as The Salvation Army opened a new food hub.

The church in Penrith has opened a ‘supermarket-style’ hub to provide food, baby products and other essential items, plus spiritual and emotional support, for the community.

The Nourished Project aims to support people practically by providing necessities from a new purpose-built area at the Hunters Lane Corps (church), and spiritually by offering visitors a listening ear.

People will also be signposted to other services on offer at the church and charity, such as the toddler play-and-stay sessions, happy to chat café and activities mornings.

Major Carole Donaldson, who leads the corps with her husband Major Alan, said: “We are delighted to officially open The Nourished Project, which will offer support to people who are struggling.

“We have transformed part of our backyard into a new hub with food, toiletries, cleaning and baby products. People can browse and select items that they need, so it feels more like a mini supermarket, giving them more choice and a sense of dignity.

“As well as food parcels, we will be there to give spiritual and pastoral guidance. We can take people to a quiet place within the community centre for a cup of tea and a talk, establish what they need and introduce them to the other services, we run or signpost them elsewhere.”

The hub was funded by EBM Charitable Trust and Stobart Newlands Charitable Trust.

Major Carole, who opened the project with Penrith mayor Councillor Charlie Shepherd and Salvation Army representatives from the North West Divisional Headquarters Major Julie Bovan and Jane Simpson, added: “We want to thank our donors, as well as local businesses, volunteers and the community for their passion, commitment and hard work over the past few months.”

To visit, call 01768 866732 and leave a message and phone number, or speak to a referral agent including a school, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, NHS, or Cumbria County Council.