A TEENAGER who helps feed the hungry in Bournemouth has won an award for her hard work.

Jess Burns has been given a Halifax Giving Extra Award for her work with local foodbank and soup kitchen, Hope for Food, which is based at Richmond Hill St Andrew’s Church.

The charity, which opens twice a week, was set up by Jess and her mum Claire Matthews to help those in need living in the town.

The duo have seen numbers swell rapidly, with between 75 and 85 people visiting each night, and decided to open at Cotlands Road car park on Saturday evenings because of the interest.

Jess, who helps to cook and serve for those who attend, said: “I was really surprised that I had won the award, as I didn’t know my mum had nominated me for it.

“It’s a fantastic way to raise awareness of what Hope for Food does for homeless people in Bournemouth and how the community can get involved. If we can get more volunteers and donations, the charity can expand and help even more people.”

The 17-year-old also fundraises for the organisation, and is currently trying to raise £5,000 so it can become a registered charity.

Mum Claire said: “Jess is a wonderful young lady who gives all that she can to Hope for Food.

“She goes out of her way to fundraise and collect donations – without donations, there is no Hope for Food. She is a star and I am incredibly proud of her.”

More than 60 people living in the south have been awarded with vouchers for £250 through the bank.

Each of them will have a chance to become a regional winner and represent their area.