A YORK primary school has received a helping hand in its attempt to set up a community shop after receiving a visit from a social entrepreneur.

Sarah Dunwell, director of Social and Environmental Affairs, at Company Shop - who have already set up a community shop in Barnsley - spoke to Year 6 pupils at Westfield School in Acomb about food supply chains.

As previously reported by The Press, pupils wrote to the Archbishop of York, City of York Council leader James Alexander and the council's chief executive, Kersten England earlier this year to seek backing for the idea.

They want to set up a shop in the Westfield ward where supermarkets and other retailers could provide surplus groceries to be re-distributed far more cheaply to people struggling to make ends meet.

As part of their on-going bid, Ms Dunwell was shown around the school's community garden on Monday where she was given some celery to take home, before lunch which she conceded was better than she remembered school dinners.

She said: "When I received the letters from Year 6 it was clear that they had a real interest in finding out more about how our food is made, transported and sold. It was great to spend the morning with them and we had lots of fun exploring together the issues of food waste and food insecurity, as well as some of the potential solutions to both."

Westfield head teacher, Tracey Ralph, said: "I think for me, apart from learning more about the food chain, our children learnt a powerful lesson in democracy. We want to develop character and citizenship at Westfield, so we invited our children to raise their voices to people in positions of power.

"The fact that our children know that their voices have been heard is a fantastic lesson for them to take forward, and I hope it will encourage them to continue to try to make a positive contribution to their community as they grow up within the Westfield ward."