The general manager of a charity helping the homeless has praised the people of a Norfolk village for raising more than £24,000.

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Derek Player, general manager of St Martins Housing Trust, addressed an audience of Old Buckenham fundraisers at St Martin’s Church Hall on Saturday about the importance of the money to the charity, which was having to cope with an increasing number of homeless people fuelled by the recent economic downturn.

The villagers presented Mr Player with a cheque totalling £24,199.20.

He said: “On behalf of the staff with the charity and particularly through the service users, thank you very much indeed.”

The money was raised through a series of fundraising events throughout the year, including a midnight mass collection and supermarket collections while schools in the village also chipped in with their own fundraising events.

“This is a remarkable community effort here in Old Buckenham because, let’s face it, they could have supported any charity, but they have chosen to dedicate their efforts to us for several years running. It makes a real difference to a local charity like us.

“In doing so, they have learned a lot about our local services and homelessness,” Mr Player added.

He said the money would be used to improve services for older users and provide a range of learning opportunities in IT, yoga and pilates, as well as cooking.

The charity runs a night shelter in Norwich, as well as a couple of care homes for people with mental health and drug problems.




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