A FOUR-AND-A-HALF stone turkey has been donated to a charity which supports vulnerable people by an artisan chef.

The 67lb hen, named 'Laura' was donated by the Tom Wood Artisan Butcher in Blackburn Market to the THOMAS organisation.

Mr Wood, 38, from Longridge, will divide up the bird into smaller cooking portions and will be cooked and given to the homeless by the charity.

The bird, which stands at a whopping 30kilograms, would cost around £260 to buy and could provide food for around 300 people.

Mr Wood, who has followed his family's footsteps in butchery, said he wanted to help those who are vulnerable at this time of year.

He said: "A couple of years ago I fell onto hard times and I was very low and not myself at all.

"With support from family and friends I managed to get the fire back in my belly to work and get myself on my feet.

"I know there's so many people out there who struggle to eat on a daily basis with nowhere to go.

"I see them in the street everyday and I want to help them but its difficult to find the right way of going about it."

The homeless charity, based in France Street, provides a range of recovery services for people in prison, hospital, those who suffer with addiction and provide residential supervision and support the homeless.

The butcher, who moved into Blackburn Market in the summer, has been picked as the Great Britain's team captain in next year's World Butcher's Challenge.

Taking place in Belfast, the event will see cutting and displaying beef, lamb and pork products, which will be inspected by a panel of judges.

Beverley Suddick, drop in co-ordinator at the charity, said: "We've actually got a big enough oven to hold the massive turkey, but it would take far too long to cook so we have asked for it to be chopped up.

"It's such an incredible size I was so shocked when I first saw it.

"The meat will go a long, long way and feed so many people.

"We've got around 40 to 50 people to feed so we will have lots to provide.

"Tom and his butchers are amazing people and we cannot thank them enough for this wonderful donation"