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Social enterprise grant funding helps hundreds of Torbay families tackle food poverty 

Turning Heads, a community interest company based in Torbay, have expanded their services and supported hundreds more disadvantaged people thanks to £10,000 in social enterprise grant funding. 

The organisation was awarded the funding in August 2022 from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant; a scheme set up to support the development of the social enterprise sector and strengthen the local economy through Community Wealth Building, which is jointly owned and championed by Torbay Council, South Devon College, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and TDA. 

The funding has allowed Turning Heads to obtain local premises and launch several new initiatives to help tackle inequalities and food poverty in Torbay, including a ‘social supermarket’ which opened in Victoria Methodist Church in Torquay earlier this month. 

The supermarket is designed to help people under financial strain and is full of surplus food, local donations and purchased food which is available to shoppers at a fraction of the cost.  

Other Turning Head initiatives made possible by the funding include the introduction of an affordable recipe box delivery scheme, a cooked meal service, lessons on healthy eating and the creation of a rental space for other voluntary groups.  

Alongside this, five new jobs were created by Turning Heads for local people with disabilities, helping to stimulate the local economy further and providing additional incomes for local people.  

CEO of Turning Heads, Alan Tilley, said: ‘‘The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Funding has been crucial in growing Turning Heads CIC; both in terms of staff numbers and our service offer to the local community.  As a Community Interest Company, we rely on grant funding to be able to continue to deliver affordable or free services to those who need it most. 

‘‘The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated the need for access to affordable food and Turning Heads are committed to supporting the community through a range of services and resources, whether that is through our free family cooking sessions, recipe box deliveries or the newly opened social supermarket.’’  

Councillor Swithin Long, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “These projects are vital in helping individuals and families to tackle food poverty, which is on the rise not just in Torbay, but across the UK. Good nutrition is important for people of all ages and helps to improve overall health and wellbeing. However, accessing nutritious food on a regular basis is a huge challenge for many families, especially now. In these challenging times of rising food and energy costs, projects like these are needed more than ever and give families practical and immediate support.’’  

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