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Record breaking Christmas for community group

Love Norwich has broken all its previous records for distributing luxury Christmas food hampers to local families, reports Network Norwich ...

Love Norwich has broken all its previous records for distributing luxury Christmas food hampers to local families, reports Network Norwich and Norfolk.

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.”    

For further  details, visit lovenorwich.org or contact Gemma Neill at gemmaneill@proclaimers.com

Pictured top is one of the volunteers with some of the donated items.

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