A CHARITY that helps local people struggling to pay for the essentials celebrates its sixth birthday this month.

Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship (PATCH) provides everything from food and clothes to household items and toiletries to those who can’t afford them.

Six years on, it has helped hundreds of Pembrokeshire families who have been referred for a helping hand, and charity co-ordinator Tracy Olin said PATCH’s help is still much in demand.

“The need for the services of PATCH is growing,” she said.

“It seems hard to believe in this day in age, in a county as beautiful as Pembrokeshire, that there are folks living here who are facing a genuine struggle to survive.

“The number of bases we have is growing, and thanks to the support of many local businesses we have an increasing number of locations where donations can be received.

“This year we have been fortunate and delighted to be named as the Charity of the Year for three local businesses and organisations, and the support and profile that this provides for us in invaluable.”

The charity also recently moved into new headquarters, thanks to support from the Port of Milford Haven, and is also the base for a weekly fruit and veg co-op.

Anyone wanting to give PATCH a birthday present, be it a few tins of food or some second-hand clothes, should contact the Milford Haven branch on 01646 699275.