A CHESTER shop that has raised awareness and thousands of pounds to help the homeless has celebrated its second birthday.

Two years ago, ShareShop was opened in Northgate Street by the city’s MP Chris Matheson.

In the last two years, volunteers have used the shop to raise money, provide support for people sleeping rough in the city, and set an example that is being followed throughout the country and in America.

The volunteers also crowdfunded a van that gives food and advice to people sleeping rough.

ShareShop co-founder Adam Dandy said: “Since Chris Matheson cut the ribbon to open Chester’s ShareShop in January 2016, the volunteers have achieved many great things, namely they’ve helped named such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco to set a precedent in using food past its best before date to feed the homeless, instead of going to landfill. They’ve begun a trend which has spread across the country and to as far away as America for turning walls with coat hooks on into places the public can donate items 24/7 to the homeless, they’ve found employment and housing for a number of people who had previously been sleeping rough.

“They’ve crowdfunded for an Outreach Van which now goes out twice a week feeding and giving advice to people sleeping rough, they’ve helped to raise awareness about homelessness locally and the refugee crisis globally, and collected tens of thousands of pounds worth of aid to both. They’ve been instrumental in bringing all of the charities and organisations helping the homeless together in Chester last winter, with a view to providing better communication and meaningful day time services to the homeless in the future.

“To date the ShareShop has also raised in the region of £50,000 towards a house for the homeless which will act as a stepping stone back into their own accommodation and employment.”