THE incoming head of Ludlow Rotarians has slammed the fact that people in one of the food capitals of England are going hungry.

Michael Symonds, a former headteacher at Bedstone College, has pledged that two key commitments for the coming year will be to help tackle homelessness and people going hungry.

The club has launched Ludlow Cares – an initiative that will culminate in more than 100 people sleeping rough in the grounds of Ludlow College in September.

The event will raise the plight of homeless people not just within Ludlow but across the West Midlands.

Funds raised will be shared by St Basil’s, a charity that helps homeless young people, Barnardo’s and Ludlow Rotary Club’s charities, the primary one of which this year will be Ludlow Food Bank.

“We live in the midst of an agricultural paradise and arguably the ‘foodie’ capital of England so it cannot be right that local people should be short of food,” said Michael Symonds.

“It is our aim to ensure that working together with other agencies, people in Ludlow are not in that position.”

The Rotary Club believes homelessness is hidden in Ludlow with a large number of people keeping a roof over their heads by ‘sofa surfing’ – sleeping at the homes of friends or relatives.

Others leave to try their luck in larger towns and cities where they link with communities of rough sleepers.

Ludlow Rotary Club is in its 75th year and its projects in the past 12 months have been geared towards working with young people.

The club organised a successful Young Ludlow’s Got Talent event and took part in an assisted reading programme to help local school children.

There was also an interview technique programme to prepare young candidates for job interviews.

Ludlow Rotary Club also staged its annual Christmas Tree of Light and held a stroke awareness day where people could have their blood pressure taken.