COLCHESTER Foodbank will open a charity shop to support children facing poverty and has got its hands on a 2,000 square foot warehouse.

Since the foodbank launched in 2009, its client numbers have grown steadily each year from a handful in the first year to 6,549 in 2018.

It got 888 more clients following the roll-out of Universal Credit last July, with one in three of those in crisis being children.

Staff and volunteers are preparing for a further increase just in case Brexit plunges the country into economic gloom.

But the foobank has been gifted a larger warehouse, at the School Farm Buildings industrial estate in Langham.

Michael Beckett, chief officer at Colchester Foodbank, said the warehouse and shop front, which will be in North Station Road in Colchester, were put forward by social housing developer Cardea Homes.

He said: “The warehouse is double the size of what we’ve got.

“We are already trying to get a warehouse in central Colchester but this is additional and we couldn’t say no.

“In November, we were offered 43 pallets of food from a supermarket but they said we had to take all or nothing. We only had room for three crates so we couldn’t take it.”

Knowing the foodbank needed more space Cardea Homes offered a shop front in North Station Road, which will be used specifically to support children.

The housing developer also bought the old warehouse in Langham which they renovated and gave to the foodbank.

Mr Beckett said: “We pay 40 per cent of the market rate which is about £8,000 and in the grand scheme of things it’s a very good deal.

“We are grateful for both the shop front and the warehouse, it means we are ahead of our strategic plan.”

The foodbank launched a separate campaign to buy a new warehouse last year.

So far they have raised £45,000 and hope to buy a new premises in the Greenstead area.

Michael said: “We want to give up our current space at Moorside Business Park and move to somewhere big enough that is central.”

The foodbank is in need of long life juice, squash, tinned tomatoes, shampoo, washing powder and deodorant.

For more information, call 01206 621998 or email