A STROUD community group is celebrating after being awarded £5,000 in funding.

Members of the Middle of the Hill Community Group plan to use the grant to upgrade facilities at the Nouncells Cross Community Room.

Whilst the room has been used over the years for meetings and social gatherings, since lockdown it has become one of Stroud’s thriving surplus food re-distribution hubs.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays members of the local community visit it to collect food that may otherwise go to waste.

The room has therefore played a vital role in reducing both food waste and supporting neighbours in food poverty.

Now, with the cash award, the room's communal outdoor area will be revamped, giving residents a new space where they can meet in the fresh air.

The cash came from the National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA UK, as part of the Places Called Home programme.

Group secretary Denise, who wrote the funding submission, said: “We were over the moon when we learnt we had won this award.

"The food re-distribution hub has not only helped tackle food waste and food poverty, it has also really brought our community together.

"People from all around this area now know neighbours they never knew they had.

"I truly believe the whole community will be able to benefit from these enhancements to our lovely community room, which will mean that we can offer even more to residents.”

Group chairman, Nathan added: “This is brilliant news.

"Middle of the Hill Community Group and the food re-distribution hub are run entirely by dedicated and unpaid volunteers.

"Whilst the community without fail support our cake sales and raffles, these only bring in so much.

"A grant like this will therefore enable us to do even more in our community in a way we never thought was possible.

"The current committee are proud to be able to build on the work done by earlier committee members in setting up this community facility many years ago.”

The food re-distribution hub opens from 11am to 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and again between 5pm-7pm on Thursdays.

The Middle of the Hill Community Group aim to improve their neighbourhood, which includes Nouncells Cross, Middle Hill, plus parts of Bisley Old Road and Summer Street.

Anyone who would like to get involved should email: contactMHCG@gmail.com