A charity which helps the homeless and destitute has moved to a bigger premises to cope with a huge rise in demand.
The Community Awareness Programme (CAP), which provides food, clothing and housing advice to people who find themselves unable to make ends meet, officially opened its new premises on Market Street on Friday.
The organisation moved from its former headquarters on Wood Street to provide help for rising numbers of people facing poverty.
On average, around 80 people a day arrive for help at CAP after being referred to the charity, up from around 13 people a day 10 years ago.
Project manager Kevin Dobson said: “A lot of people never thought they would find themselves in this situation and the shock they are feeling is absolutely tangible.
“What they get when they come here is a welcome and respect. We are just giving them as much support as we possibly can.”
CAP was formed by husband and wife team Ernest and Elisabeth Hibbert – and they never imagined the project would grow to where it is today.
Mr Hibbert said: “We work very closely with food banks in the city and they are seeing the same increase. Now we are seeing fewer people who have been made homeless through addiction, more often they are just normal people who have fallen on hard times.
“Worryingly, we are seeing more and more middle-aged dads who are leaving their families so that their wives and children can claim more in benefits because they have no other choice.”
CAP provides homeless and vulnerable people with hot food, clean clothes, and advice. It will be also help people with employment, addiction and healthcare.