A CHARITY which has been helping Stirling people in times of hardship for 25 years has received the provost’s backing for the year.

Provost Christine Simpson has selected Start Up Stirling as her Charity of the Year as the organisation marked the quarter century milestone.

It was set up in 1994 by a group of local churches, initially to support homeless people being rehoused by providing them with basic supplies.

The charity has since evolved to offer food banks and support services for those enduring tough times.

Provost Simpson, who hosted a civic reception for the occasion last week, said: “For 25 years, Start Up Stirling has been providing support to local people in times of need, helping relieve poverty and suffering and assisting individuals to make positive change in their lives.

“I was honoured to host this special reception for their special anniversary and to announce them as my charity of the year and I look forward to highlighting their important service to the people of Stirling in the forthcoming year.“

The reception at the council chambers saw the charity’s longest-serving member, Christine Harper, cut a special cake, a speech from Start Up Stirling chairman Anthony Birch and experiences of charity work shared by three volunteers.

While it was an important milestone, Anthony saw no reason to celebrate the 25 years specifically, instead praising the hard work of volunteers and staff.

He explained: “That is because the need for services like ours is ultimately a sad reflection on our society.

“What we do celebrate is the continued dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters who have enabled us to help thousands of people in need over the last quarter of a century.”