A council has made a generous donation to a local charity after making one small change at its annual awards ceremony.  

The Burnley Business Awards 2022 took place earlier this month at Towneley Hall, and almost 500 guests from the borough’s business community celebrated their success stories from the past two years.

However, instead of table gifts for guests, a donation was made by Burnley Council to the Burnley Community Grocery, which is based at the Valley Community Centre on Valley Street.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Burnley Business Awards 2022 © Andy ForThe Burnley Business Awards 2022 © Andy For

In total, £500 was donated to the charity as a result of the small change.

The Community Grocery, which opened in April, provides affordable food to local people who are finding it hard to keep their families fed, providing much-needed additional support and alleviating food waste in the process.

People pay just £5 for an annual membership, and then pay £4 per shop going forward. This £4 typically pays for around £25 – £30 of produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods, non-food items such as toiletries and nappies, a freezer item and a bakery item.

Chief executive of Burnley Council, Mick Cartledge, said: “It is understandably a worrying time for many, with an increasing cost of living and other uncertainties.

“Having community support hubs such as Burnley Together and Burnley Community Grocery are a vital additional to the available support in the borough.

“That is why rather than unnecessary table gifts, we wanted to show our continued support and we’re delighted this donation will help provide affordable food shops for our local residents.”

Sam Ward, director of ministry at The Message Trust, who partner with Life Church to run the grocery, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support from Burnley Council.

“This donation will help us keep the shelves of our Burnley Community Grocery stocked so that local families who are finding it tough to afford their weekly shop can get the food they desperately need.

“Demand for the store has been huge since we opened a few weeks ago, and we’re happy we’re here to help the people of Burnley as no-one should go hungry.”

The awards had a real community spirit about them this year, and Burnley College’s construction department made planters, filled by Burnley Council’s Green Spaces apprentices, which decorated the marquee.

Following the ceremony, these were donated to Pendleside Hospice and the SafeNet women’s refuge.

John Spencer Textiles teamed up with Burnley College art and design students to create fabric floral displays, which again were donated to Pendleside Hospice and the SafeNet women’s refuge following the awards.

In addition, several Burnley College hospitality students gained impressive work experience on the evening by serving guests their drinks and meals, after undergoing a rigorous interview process, like they would in a working environment.