A COMMUNITY allotment set up to help serving personnel, veterans and their families is now officially open.

Earlier this year, Bents Garden and Home donated a plot of land to the charity Shoulder to Soldier, which provides support, advice, financial relief and social welfare to those who are serving or who have served in the armed forces.

The Mayor of Warrington Cllr Karen Mundry was joined by dignitaries and council officials to celebrate a new chapter for the charity.

Cutting the ribbon with Cllr Mundry was 94-year-old Ken Preter, who is a Commando war veteran.

Culcheth High School was represented by Katie Coates, who along with Ethan Stansfield, have raised funds for the charity to support the allotment project and its housing and homeless work.

Linda Fisher, founder of the charity, said: “We had a lovely day opening the allotment and we would like to thank everyone who has helped to make the day very special.

"Thank you to the businesses and volunteers who provided our refreshments.

"I am so proud of what our veterans and volunteers have achieved in the space of a year.

"We have won a regional award for the project and have helped many veterans and their families along the way.

"What was lovely was that the mayor and borough and parish councillors listened to our veterans who explained about the positive impact that coming to the allotment has had on their lives.

"We hope that we can secure funding in the near future or a business sponsorship to keep our project alive."

The charity operates from a base in Leigh as well as its new base at the community centre on Nora Street in Howley.