Local charities and groups from North Wales are being urged bid for a slice of a £5,000 community fund set up by a big-hearted bakery.

The family-run Village Bakery say they want to give something back to the community which has helped the award-winning firm become such a success.

According to managing director Robin Jones, they’re aware that many community groups, associations and charities have been struggling to survive during the pandemic because their fund-raising activities have been curtailed.

The company had always made a point of supporting good causes in an ad hoc way but had now decided to set up the Village People’s Fund so there was a more structured approach to their donations.

Applicants should email villagepeoplesfund@villagebakery.co.uk to make their case in no more than 250 words.

Robin said: “We’re a community-based company so this is a logical step to take to . formalise what we’ve done for the last 30 years. We want to be at the heart of the community, and this is a great way to do that.

“The whole purpose of this is to help those clubs, societies, the local ones that don’t get any funding so we can help them in a very practical way.

“The pandemic has caused problems for everyone this year and we’re going to have a tough winter as a result of this second surge of the virus so perhaps this can be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

“Our customers have supported us through good times and not so good times recently when one of our bakeries was destroyed by a fire last year.

“We were truly humbled by the genuine outpouring of love and support from our customers on social media and this is our way of saying thank you.

“The company has grown a lot since the Jones family took over the business back in 1964, but we’ve never forgotten our roots, and we’ve still got that  community-minded ethos running through us like a stick of rock

It was a message echoed by Robin’s brother, Christien, the Village Bakery’s projects director.

He said: “The Village Bakery is a family firm and we see the wider community as our extended family.

“We’ve got a good bunch of big-hearted people working here. We affectionately refer to them as the Village People because they always go above and beyond, whether that’s making the best possible products or raising money for charity. That’s why we’ve decided to call it the Village People’s Fund.”

Operations director Simon Thorpe says setting up the new fund was a “logical progression” for the company.

He said: “This is really what we and our Village People are all about – the connection we have with the communities we serve is very precious to us.

“As well as making the very best products, it’s really important that we give something back because the people we employ are mainly from the local community.”

HR manager Jason Page added: “The community is going through a tough time now because of Covid. Lots of organisations are struggling financially so this is a timely boost for lots of them.

“In these dark days it’s nice to give something back and give people a bit of a boost. There’s nothing like being there when it counts.

“A lot in the community were there for us when we had our mishap last year and I think it’s time to repay the favour.”

Anybody wanting to apply for funding should send an email to villagepeoplesfund@villagebakery.co.uk to make their case in no more than 250 words.