A Burton mum says she loves "serving her community" and understands what it is like to be in a position where you need to ask for help but are embarrassed to ask.
Lorna Smith, 53, is born and bred in Burton and is currently running a food bank service provide vital help and supplies to the vulnerable and needy in the town, many of who would otherwise have to go without.
But at one time she was a single mum with a young child and struggle to make ends meet while between jobs. And she sees people like she was through her work and volunteering and knows what it's like to be in their shoes.
When she is not giving up her time freely to the food bank, she is a self-employed mental health support worker, helping clients with emotional and mental health issues. And volunteering to help others is certainly in the blood as she has also previously volunteered with Staffordshire Police where she helped support people with mental health issues and she is an ambassador at the Sexual Abuse Rape Advice Centre (SARAC) in the town.
In conjunction with the The Community Church, Lorna launched the ‘Community Cans Can Help’ food bank service, at the beginning of February. It operates from 63 Main Street, in Stapenhill, which is a former carpet shop and gives out food parcels to the needy.
The mother-of-one said: "I love Burton and wouldn't live anywhere else in the world.
"I grew up in Edward Street, where I was born and now live in Stapenhill, and the community spirit and kindness of the people in Burton makes me proud of where I am from.
"I have always worked in the care sector and know what it's like for those who are struggling, whether that be mental health, addiction or homelessness and sometimes due to pride people are ashamed to share their problems.
"Having a young child as a single mother was tough, I was in between jobs and wasn't really in a position to go to my parents and I didn't know what to do.
"It was a struggle and I was embarrassed at times, so I know what it feels like to ask for help."
Lorna feels the pandemic has taught people a lot about supporting one another and its educated people on the importance of looking after those close to you.
She added: "I made sure my neighbours and those who were living close to me where not in need and I gave them whatever support I could.
"The food bank service is going really well. I have had some amazing donations from the public and again it highlights the community spirit, and I am glad to be a part of it.
"I feel people are listening to what the community needs and as cliched as it sounds, no one is safe from finding themselves in a position where they are relying on services like food banks.
"Members of the public have been very proud to give and their co-operation and support is what keeps the food bank ticking.
"Personally, I value spending time with people who have had it tough and look at things from a different perspective, there is always a story to why these people need help and sometimes all we need to do is have a chat with them.
"I am very passionate about my town and I want to help as many people as I can. I still make sure my neighbours are fine and if they require anything. I am there first point of call.
"I love talking to people and I feel that's why I can get the best out of them. Regardless of their background I see them as humans and no different to me.
"Moving forward I want to continue supporting the needy in and around Burton for as long as I can, whether that be with the food bank or other projects with my business.
"My primary objective is making people aware of the illness that people suffer from and making sure we have support network to help them overcome their issues and challenges.
"The food bank service started from just a couple of bags of food to now parcels and I have managed to get some businesses on board who deliver weekly drop offs.
"There are still a lot of people out there who need our help. I know there is a stigma attached to asking for help, but sometimes our pride needs to be left to one side and we need to focus on what our needs are.
"The feedback I have got from recipients or even donors, has been very impressive. It helps me to remember why I started this project and will always make me feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness."
Top stories from StaffordshireLive
Want to sign up to receive these stories straight to your inbox? It's free and means you'll never miss out on the most important Staffordshire news of the day
You can sign up for free here
Not signed up yet but want to try it out?
You can read a preview of our newsletter here