SELFLESS Beverley Stevens celebrated her 50th birthday with food donations instead of presents.

The North Petherton woman decided she wanted to do something different to mark the milestone occasion.

And after reading how Bridgwater Foodbank helps less fortunate people in the town, Beverley decided she wanted to help the team behind it.

Instead of presents, she asked for food donations, and invited foodbank organisers to her party on Friday.

“Eighteen years ago, I was a single parent of three children in Bridgwater,” She said.

“I was down to my last £1 and I remember having to choose whether to buy bread or milk for my family.

“The foodbank was not around then, and I was lucky enough to have family and friends to help me, but I think the foodbank is a fantastic idea,” she said.

Mrs Stevens said after she came up with the idea, she went and spoke with the Bridgwater Foodbank organisers Keith and Ann Barnard and Phil Jarman to see what kind of items they need.

She also asked her guests to donate a raffle prize and the money raised will go towards the foodbank’s campaign to buy its premises on Mount Street.

“I was just blown away by the fact they are all volunteers,” Mrs Stevens said.

“I just think it is important to stay humble - I am on my feet now, I have a family and a mortgage, but it doesn’t take a lot to fall into that position where you need the foodbank.

“I hope people will see this and think of similar ideas they might able to do help out.”

Phil Jarman, manager of the Bridgwater Foodbank said: “Just Friday we fed 35 to 40 people, and you can appreciate how quickly the stock goes.

“So events like this are really helpful, as is the raffle to help us raise funds toward buying the building.”

The organisers see the site as the ideal location and have put down a £10,000 deposit on the £150,000 building which will see Somerset County Council take the building off the market while funds are raised to make it their permanent home.

Since Universal Credit first started being rolled out in Sedgemoor on May 25, 2016, the Foodbank has seen a 50 per cent increase in footfall.