A VOLUNTEER shopping service could help elderly residents live at home longer when it expands into the Wee County.

Food Train Stirling, popular in the county next door, is looking to bring its service to Clackmannanshire with volunteers supporting older adults in every stage of the shopping process.

The community organisation collects shopping lists, orders the required goods in local supermarkets, delivers the groceries to customers' homes and even helps with the unpacking.

Not only that, Food Train is also going green with its diesel fleet about to be replaced by electric vans, thanks to funding from SP Energy Networks.

Stuart Miller, Stirling and Clackmannanshire regional manager at Food Train, said: "These are exciting times at Food Train.

"The Green Economy Fund has allowed us to support even more older people while also contributing to Scottish Government's ambitious climate change targets.

"It has been a long-term ambition to take Food Train to Clackmannanshire and we can't wait to get started in this new area.

"We are delighted to be going green at Food Train and our volunteers can't wait to go electric."

Volunteers in the scheme are checked by police and are thoroughly referenced as many customers may be vulnerable.

They come from all walks of life, but all have a strong sense of community and a desire to support people who need a little help to retain their independence at home.

Alloa-based shop volunteers as well as drivers and helpers are being sought before the scheme can be rolled out in the local area.

Training is provided and expenses paid; initially the service will cover Cambus, Tullibody, Alloa, Sauchie, Tillicoultry, Alva and Menstrie.

Customers may use the service due to disability, frailty or mobility issues, but anyone over 65 who feel like they could benefit can get in touch.

Food Train also takes referrals from individuals or agencies like housing associations, health and social workers.

The organisation is also looking to extend its innovative community meal sharing project meal Makers.

It connects people who love cooking and who are happy to share an extra portion of home cooked food with an older neighbour who would appreciate a hot meal and a friendly chat.

People looking to volunteer for either, or if they know of someone who could benefit, can email stirling@thefoodtrain.co.uk or call 01786 450 536.