A SOCIAL supermarket has celebrated being awarded more than £350,000 in National Lottery funding.

Poole Waste Not Want Not received £374,259 from the community fund across five years, to help support its work with families who do not have disposable income.

The charity, which is based in Poole High Street, will use the funding to support essential resources and to gain better volunteer outcomes, mentoring and training.

It trains staff to offer a more professional service, freeing up vital time for the manager to focus on higher-level strategic decision making and building resilience at the charity over the five years.

Recently, the rise in daily budgets has not only hit the most vulnerable, but the charity has seen many working households reaching out for support.

This has had a ‘massive’ impact on its service, and the money provided by the National Lottery will help to give the project stability to continue to support the most vulnerable in the community.

Waste Not Want Not predicts that the cost-of-living crisis will hopefully ease throughout the lifetime of the grant.

Over this period, this will help to reduce the number of families and individuals falling into debt with access to affordable food.

It will also help with budget planning, learning cooking skills and access to nutritious food, including fresh fruit and vegetables.

Well-being will be increased, and isolation will be reduced, giving access to volunteering opportunities in a workplace environment. Erika Sloper, charity project manager, said: “To say I’ve had a few sleepless nights after sending this application, is an understatement.

“When we got the confirmation, our application was successful, it really was like winning the lottery.

“We are delighted and overwhelmed; I am very proud to be a part of this amazing charity.”

A volunteer at Waste Not Want Not, Dan, said: “I love the company and feel very proud to be a part of the team, it gives me purpose in life.”

Erika added: “We have a great team, our staff, and volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure people get the basics they deserve.”