AN appeal has been made to the public for help funding popular over- 50s services.

Horwich and Blackrod councillor Peter Wright has been putting on a variety of free services for over 50s in his community.

With the aim of combatting loneliness, and in a bid to increase community spirit, Cllr Wright has provided the over-50s with a foodbank and a club, where people can enjoy refreshments, guest speakers and general companionship.

It takes places every Thursday from 12.30pm to 2.30pm at Horwich Community Centre.

He has also set up a befriending service where elderly residents can be visited at home, allowing them to discuss their problems.

Ideally Cllr Wright would like to expand what he is already doing, but without public donations they are more likely to shut down.

He said: “We have many people who really enjoy the club so we would like to offer more hours. We don’t get a lot of council funding – that tends to go to bigger organisations. If we want to raise a bit of money, we have to rely on fundraising ourselves.”

Money is also needed to pay for a more permanent home for the foodbank, which regularly serves 18 people in need.

“We keep jumping from one place to another. We’re currently in a storage unit, which is fine but it’s quite expensive and that’s with the owner giving me a good deal.

“We’re looking to have a more permanent home in Horwich or Blackrod so we can access more food. Right now, we have nowhere to store it. Someone’s garage would do,” he added.

Tracy Lee, a fellow volunteer with Peter, said: “It’s very, very important.

“I know a lot of people who haven’t been anywhere at all during Covid, which is no good for their mental health, let alone their physical health We see them smile and laugh again and it builds their confidence.

“When we do the foodbank, people like a chat because some don’t see many people. I can then refer them to other services if they need them.

“We also get people involved with other activities like tai chi or line dancing, so it’s more than just a foodbank and a meet-up.”