TRADERS from a parade of shops near Pontypool have joined forces to raise more than £600 for the foodbank which serves the borough.

Staff and store owners from the Trevethin shops have handed over £607.15 to the Eastern Valley Foodbank, which is operated by Trussell Trust.

Jen Taylor, who runs the Pontnewynydd-based foodbank, was on hand to receive the donation.

“It is fantastic that the shop traders in Trevethin have recognised the importance of the foodbank in Pontnewynydd and how much of a demand of assistance through vouchers there is in Torfaen,” said Sue Malson, who runs the charity Trac2.

"It will help those in need of support.

"The service is crucial at this point in time in the year and it will be even more important after Christmas also.

"For us to raise this money will ease Jen and the rest of the foodbank volunteers’ minds."

The money for the foodbank was provided by traders including, Spar, D. Townsend Butchers, Mayo’s fish and chips, the Hair Club and Trevethin Newsagents and General Store.

Ms Malson added: "It is promising that there is more recognition of the work that foodbanks are doing to help communities.

"I know there are trolleys at supermarkets, like Tesco.

"But there are little things which we can all do to help out. I myself do not buy Christmas cards.

"The money that I would spend on cards and stamps, I spend at the supermarkets and put into the trolleys for the foodbanks there."

Ms Malson added that the traders will be teaming up again in the summer to support the foodbank once more.

"Our fundraising and support for the foodbank will be continuing next year," she said.

"We want to do an event in the summer to raise more money for Jen and her volunteers.

"We need to remember that the people are doing this on a voluntary basis.

"They are making a difference in people’s lives – a massive difference.

"For all our shops traders to come together in this way is fantastic."