FOOTBALL charity bosses have opened a new town centre community kitchen to help vulnerable families.

After 12 months of planning, Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC, finally opened the doors to Burnley Community Kitchen at Charter Walk shopping centre on Monday.

The premises, located on the site of the former J3 store, includes a foodbank, a community cafe, a meeting space for community groups, children’s play area and a book exchange.

Hundreds of food products have been donated by retailers for the foodbank. t is set up in a supermarket-style layout and will offer an in-house teaching kitchen.

Families will be taught about the importance of being active and eating a balanced diet, which will be accompanied by healthy cooking workshops.

Claret and blue is ever present around the facility with football memorabilia, including shirts, scarves and shorts, donated by the football club.

Community kitchen manager Anita Orchard and assistant kitchen manager Nathan Norris, who will be running the community centre, said they need to recruit at least 20 volunteers to help out.

The 47-year-old kitchen manager said: “I can’t tell you what a journey it has been to finally get over the line. We are thrilled and very excited about it. It has been a year in the making and we have done it on practically no budget.

“We have had tremendous support from local and national businesses. Without their contribution we wouldn’t have got this far.

“It’s a facility for the community and it will be volunteer led. There are only two staff so we really do need volunteers. We want lots of people doing small amounts of time rather than a small pool of volunteers doing long hours.

“We can improve employability. They can work in reception, the cafe and in the warehouse. There’s lots of different things they can improve their skills by coming to volunteer here. We can then make this more sustainable in the long term.”