A new collaborative project that will reduce food waste has captured community spirit.

The Bridport Community Fridge is the product of a joint collaboration between mental health recovery team START (Support, Transition and Recovery Team) and the Bridport Unitarian Chapel in the Garden with the help of the Dorset Waste Partnership.

The fridge is not a food bank and uses edible waste from local businesses to feed the community.

The fridge, which is located in the chapel, was opened by TV chef Lesley Waters, with crowds drawn in by Bridport town crier John Collingwood.

Sarah Jones, who works for START, said: "I had the idea to set up the fridge in order to play a small part in tackling the war on waste food. There are the same projects running successfully all over the country.

"They work well at bringing the local communities together by the sharing of good food that would have otherwise been thrown in the bin."

Leakers Bakery, Bridget's Market, Morrisons, Washingpool Farm and Bella's, More than Tea and Punch and Judy have signed up to the scheme, donating edible food waste.

Lizzie Harley, lay leader at the Chapel in the Garden, said: "We are so happy about this project, the first week had been incredible.

"The chapel is such a welcoming place and to have the fridge here now in the centre of the community feels just right. It is open to all, as is the chapel.

"It's been such a great experience working closely with START, and with the support from the Dorset Waste Partnership and the generous Bridport vendors. Thank you to everyone that has helped make this happen and all the volunteers that continue to keep it going. If you want to be involved, please get in touch."

The team behind the project are currently welcoming volunteers to join them and welcome donations from the public of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Alongside the fridge will be a Blessing Box, which allows people to donate useful items such as toothbrushes, shampoos, tinned goods and dried goods.

Money donations are also accepted if people want to help, which will go towards electricity bills and providing labels for the products.

START, which operates in Dorchester and Bridport, helps people to be more active, to access community activities, to fund voluntary and paid work, to access further education and training, and to help individuals work towards personal goals and aspirations.

Sarah said: "This is not a food bank as it is open to anyone who wants to pop by to see what's available and the focus is on perishable food for the fridge.

"We are looking to generate volunteering opportunities for members of the community by including people in mental health recovery.

"This could support them to reconnect with their local community, helping with the fridge at the chapel could increase their sense of well-being and improve their social networks."

The fridge is officially open on Wednesday from 10am until 2pm and on Saturday from 10am until midday for anyone to use, with volunteers from START aiding with the workload.

The fridge is open other days of the week, however the delivery days are the ones which are listed above

If you would like to volunteer to help with the running of the fridge, email events@bridportunitarians.co.uk