Norwich church charity breaks its own record
Love Norwich has today broken all its previous records for distributing luxury Christmas food hampers to local families. The community group, established by Norwich church ‘Proclaimers’, has been distributing the hampers to vulnerable families for the past nine Christmases.
Project co-ordinator and associate pastor, Gemma Neill said: “We try to include everything a family of four needs for Christmas dinner, and a few extra little treats. We add a voucher for perishable items and wrap it all up as a beautiful hamper.”
The charity receives donations of items like boxes of mince pies, packets of stuffing and jars of cranberry sauce from members of the public and local businesses and this year has exceed all its previous records seeing a 45% increase in the numbers of hampers created. They have been inundated with donations of food this year, with over 2000 items of food have been given and then packed and wrapped by their army of over 80 volunteers.
Love Norwich works with agencies to identify the people most in need at Christmas, including refugees, families being helped by social services, and people living in hostels. Gemma adds, “we want to support the existing charities that Norwich has in the work they are doing with people already. We deliver the hampers to agencies working with families with very complex needs. Christmas should be a great time, but it can also be a stress and a burden. Hopefully we are lifting that stress and worry and preventing difficult financial situations.”
After a referral from another charity, Love Norwich gave a hamper to a local mum who was really struggling. She was selling personal items to pay for Christmas presents for her children, she went without food so her children could eat and had been having suicidal thoughts. When she received the Love Norwich Christmas Hamper she said “it has restored my faith in humanity... I will never forget this as long as I live.”
Although they have been inundated with donations this year the charity have also been inundated with requests for hampers from the agencies they work with. There is still time for individuals and businesses to make donations as there are so many more families who need this help.
The charity will be receiving a special offering towards its Christmas Hamper appeal at the churches annual Christmas special on Sunday evening. “Our Christmas Special is a night full of live music and performance to get people into the Christmas spirit, plus a Christmas party for the children” commented lead Pastor Tom Rawls, “but in the midst of all the celebration we want people to remember the heart of Christmas is all about giving which is why we always make our Christmas Hamper appeal a key focus of the night.”
If you or your business can support Love Norwich’s biggest ever Christmas Hamper appeal, please send cheques made payable c/o Proclaimers and send to The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich, NR7 8SQ, or visit https://proclaimers.churchapp.co.uk/donate and select ‘Hamper Appeal – Love Norwich’. To find out more the Christmas Special will be held on Sunday 20th December at 5pm and again at 7:30pm. To reserve your seat for free visit www.proclaimers.com
For further details, visit lovenorwich.org or contact Gemma Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured top is one of the volunteers with some of the donated items.