A CHARITY tackling poverty in Hampshire has celebrated moving to a new base.

In the past year SCRATCH has helped more than 3,000 disadvantaged people in and around Southampton.

Now volunteers have moved to a bigger branch on Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate to accommodate the city’s demand for its help.

The charity was set up in 1999 and runs support projects to relieve hardship and poverty for adults and children.

Its most popular scheme is the Dorcas project which sends furniture and household items across Hampshire. It made 747 deliveries in 2013, helping 1,564 people and its Christmas Complete Project delivered packages of toys to 1,728 children.

Southampton people living in poverty are also given emergency removal schemes, paint pot donations, hot meals and could benefit from SCRATCH’s latest project, Crumbs.

Crumbs has been running for a month and works with the council to collect surplus food from Southampton suppliers and distribute it to the homeless and disadvantaged.

The food donated is normally packaged incorrectly or the organisation over-ordered and so far SCRATCH volunteers have delivered 20 tonnes of food.

For the launch, SCRATCH members treated guests to a barbecue and celebrated National Volunteers Week.

General manager Mike Smith said: “We are excited to be on a site which can accommodate all the work we were previously doing and allow us to expand into new areas to help the disadvantaged living in Southampton and the surrounding area.

“This event was held to say thank you to the many individuals and organisations who have supported us over the years.”