Support from the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme means Abergele District Foodbank can do more than provide essential food supplies – it's paid for the foodbank to recruit a qualified debt advisor to help people tackle their financial issues.
Stuart Farnell had been helping the foodbank on a voluntary basis, but will now be able to spend more time speaking to people to give them the support they need – and centre manager Andrew Sturgess says it will help with an important part of their work.
Andrew said: "This funding is absolutely vital – we couldn't have got Stuart on board without it.
"Stuart's been volunteering, helping our clients with financial guidance and debt advice, and now he can join us two days a week as an employed member of the team.
"We're trying to address the reasons why people are coming to foodbanks, and either prevent them from having to come in the first place or nip it in the bud when they do come in to see us.
"This is an important aspect of our work in Abergele and the surrounding areas."
Stuart re-trained as a debt advisor after he was declared bankrupt when his pub closed – and he's determined to use his personal experience to help others.
He said: "I'll be spending an hour and a half or more interviewing clients finding out about all their finances – outstanding debts, income, benefits, the whole picture.
"Once I get that I can go through all their income and expenditure and advise them how to go forward from there. I live in the real world and know how tough it can be for people.
"I ran a pub and during the financial crash ten years ago we went under and I ended up being declared bankrupt. So I know what people who come to the foodbank are going through."
Our Rhyl store has a permanent collection point for the foodbank where customers and colleagues can donate groceries, set up by community champion Lisa Harrison.
Lisa and store manager Chris Davies joined the foodbank volunteers to help them sort recent donations.
Asda Fight Hunger Create Change: This Christmas, we're saying a big festive thank you to everyone helping to deliver our Asda Fight Hunger Create Change initiative. Read more stories here and find out more about our partnership with FareShare and The Trussell Trust here.