A new bus has begun transporting food to Breckland's rural communities to help them cope with the cost of living.

The Breckland Mobile Food Store is offering items at a reduced price to those living in harder-to-reach parts of the district.

Those communities are: Swanton Morley, Bawdeswell, Shipdham, Carbrooke, Saham Toney, Ashill, Necton, Narborough, Weeting and East Harling.

On Tuesday (May 10), the bus made its first journey as part of a scheme aimed at helping residents tackle increasing costs, as well as making life easier for those who are isolated and struggle to get to shops.

On-board staff have been trained to offer advice on debt management, isolation, loneliness and mental health, and will signpost customers to a range of further assistance.

Purchase of the vehicle was made possible by Mattishall-based training provider, Poultec, who made a significant donation to the project.

Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, said: "This innovative project is a great example of how partnership working can benefit our communities.

"Following the extraordinary success of the Charles Burrell Community Shop in Thetford, I’m delighted we can launch this mobile store that will provide a similar service to more isolated communities.

"I’d like to thank Breckland businesses who have embraced this plan. Some have even made a commitment to donate goods, which is a great demonstration of Breckland community spirit."

The Breckland Mobile Food Store has been funded by Breckland Council and Norfolk Community Foundation, and will be run by local charity Kickstart Norfolk.

Matthew Page, partnership manager at Kickstart Norfolk, added: "We are delighted to be running the store.

"With the ever-increasing cost of living placing pressure on household budgets, our staff are looking forward to providing residents with a service that can provide them with healthy, nutritional food at an affordable cost, and assisting them in tackling any issues they may have."

To use the service, residents will need to become a member. Membership applications require a one-off payment of £3 per household and can be completed on a first visit to the bus.

The timetable can be found at facebook.com/brecklandmobilefoodstore.