VOLUNTEERS at the Devizes Foodbank have applauded the Gazette and Herald and MP Claire Perry in turning their fortunes around and helping them find a new home - in the nick of time.

However thanks to the Gazette's coverage and Ms Perry contacting the Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust, volunteers said their goodbyes to the old home on Tuesday before transferring their stock into an empty building at Devizes Hospital, in New Park Road, over the course of this week.

"We cannot thank the Gazette enough for their help. Without its help arranging photos and getting the word out there, along with the great help of Ms Perry, we probably would not have been in the fortunate position we are in now," said foodbank co-ordinator Alan Beamish.

"It is like the end of one chapter and the start of a new one for this foodbank. We are really looking forward to moving into our new home later this week.

"It has been a very worrying time as we had just weeks to find a new place but we got there in the end. Everyone has breathed a huge sigh of relief.

"If we did close so many people would have gone without the food we provide - it would have been unthinkable.

"This however may not be a permanent fix as the hospital could close in the near future but we have been told we will be there for up to two years."

For the past few months, the Northgate Street foodbank has frantically tried to find a new premises as Gaiger Bros, who are redeveloping their present home, was unable to offer them free use of the building, as they had done for the last eight years.

In 2016, the foodbank helped 1,264 adults and 642 children, not just feeding people in desperate circumstances but also providing a much-needed service to the disabled in the community.

"We want to say a huge thank you to the Gaiger Bros for their help over the years. They have been so accommodating to us and they are very kindly helping us transfer the 10 tonnes of food we have at the foodbank," added Mr Beamish.

"Even though it looked like a pretty desperate situation I always felt we would find a solution as we work with 40 or so different agencies and the fact that everyone has been so supportive.

"This is such an important service, serving adults, children and the disabled for people in Devizes but also people further afield, including Devizes and Marlborough. I am just so thankful that this is not the end of our journey."

The building firm has moved to new premises in the town and is to develop its former offices and yard.