A FOODBANK dedicated to helping communities in and around Northwich and Winsford has been awarded the country's highest voluntary group honour.

The Mid Cheshire Foodbank, which is based in Winsford, has today (November 14) received the King's Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).

Equivalent to an MBE, the award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee and recognise the outstanding work of volunteer groups in their communities.

Following his accession to the throne, King Charles III has continued the award, with the Mid Cheshire Foodbank becoming the county's first, and thus far only, recipient during his reign.

Peter Schofield, chair of trustees of the foodbank, said: “I am so pleased for all our hard-working and dedicated volunteers that their commitment to the cause of reducing hardship and hunger in our communities has been recognised in this way.

"We all wish foodbanks didn’t have to exist but, while they do, it is good to know that we have such a great bunch of people here in Mid Cheshire ready and willing to give up their time to help others."

Volunteers came together to form the Mid Cheshire Foodbank to ensure no-one in the community should have to face going hungry.

Supported by the Trussell Trust, the independent charity provides five days' nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to people who are referred to them in crisis.

The foodbank is among 262 charities, social enterprises and volunteer groups receiving the award this year.

Sir Martyn Lewis, the KAVS chairman, said: "I have no doubt these awards will delight His Majesty, with his well-known commitment to volunteering, on his birthday.

"This year’s 262 King’s Awards for Voluntary Service honour truly impressive recipients across the length and breadth of the UK. 

"The awardees work selflessly as groups of volunteers to address every conceivable kind of local issue across all our communities.

"We owe them huge congratulations, but also much more than that for the inestimable value they bring to our society."

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added: "Each year, millions of volunteers give up their time to provide care and support, and this award recognises those truly making a difference to the lives of others across the UK. 

"It’s brilliant to see the King continue the legacy of Her Late Majesty and reward those who support their local communities with kindness and compassion. Congratulations to all those who have been awarded."

Representatives of the Mid Cheshire Foodbank will receive the award crystal and certificate from Lady Alexis Redmond, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire.