AN east end community project is helping to tackle loneliness and bring people together.

Belville Garden's free 'soup and a blether' drop-in once a week attracts dozens of families and even stayed open during the festive holidays

It is part of an effort to reach out to people in need by getting outdoors, growing produce, cooking and enjoying homegrown food.

The staff work closely with mental health charities, people with learning disabilities and local schools.

As part of that they serve up homemade soup to people at their base in Belville Street.

Mum Jaci, 34, from Sinclair Street, who comes along with her three-year-old daughter Tirzah and husband Stephen, said: "I love it here in at the Belville.

"On a Friday we all come together to the soup and a blether, it's brilliant and the food is great.

"I come along with my daughter to the garden club.

"We love getting out there.

"The garden has been great for the community.

"There is so much here for people and it brings us all together."

She was at the festive drop in with her husband Stephen and his brother David, who works as a maths teacher in Guatemala.

He said: "I couldn't wait to come here to try it for myself, all the way from Guatemala.

"I have heard all about it!"

Belville Community Gardens is an eco project which encourages homegrown produce and cuts down on food waste.

Trustee Laura Reilly said: "The soup and a blether drop-ins are really great.

"People who are on their own rely on the drop-in.

"We run a successful volunteer project

The award winning garden also runs a volunteer project, working closely with mental health charity SAMH as well as offering opportunities to adults with additional support needs, visiting schools and giving placements to secondary pupils.