From quizzes to tractors, how Norfolk people love helping others

PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 12 December 2017

Norwich Foodbank is offering fuel vouchers as part of a new trial with the Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: Antony Kelly

Norwich Foodbank is offering fuel vouchers as part of a new trial with the Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: Antony Kelly

Archant Norfolk 2017

Gina Long celebrates more of Norfolk's charity fundraisers in her latest monthly column.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, King's Lynn Committe members.Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, King's Lynn Committe members.

It’s so incredible to see, that even with the cold, frosty days settling in during the lead-up to Christmas, it has not frozen the spirits of the outstanding fundraisers we have in the region. On these pages throughout the year, we have profiled so many wonderful charity events, projects and initiatives undertaken by many great people throughout Norfolk.

Farmer Philip Page who organised the tractor run for the Keeping Abreast charity.
Picture: Nick ButcherFarmer Philip Page who organised the tractor run for the Keeping Abreast charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

Today’s pages are devoted to the work of volunteers, the ‘unsung heroes’, working hard within our communities, all doing something that helps make the biggest difference day-to-day.

More than 20 local businesses took part in the annual Nelson’s Journey Christmas Quiz, raising vital funds for the Norfolk-based children’s bereavement charity, at Open in Norwich, on Friday November 24. An outstanding £10,000 was raised, with 18 volunteers superbly dressed as Santa’s Elves helping to make the night run smoothly, with Gary Stevens from Heart FM hosted the competition.

Aquaterra, the main sponsors of the evening, said: “We were delighted to support this year’s quiz, and it is a pleasure to be able to help local families at a time when they may need it the most.”

Father Christmas even made an appearance to wish all attendees a very Merry ‘Quiz-mas’ too...

If you would like to see more about Nelson’s Journey, and the work they provide in Norfolk for children who have lost a loved one, please visit

You can book an ‘early-bird’ table for next year’s quiz, where you will receive 10% off the table for 10 for £250 - please contact (this offer is available until only New Year’s Eve).

More than 40 tractors turned out for a sponsored ‘run’ for for breast cancer charity Keeping Abreast. The tractors travelled 18 miles in convoy from Scratby to Martham, on Sunday November 19.

This event, which raised an outstanding £1,500, was a sight to behold, organised by farmer Philip Page, who wanted to do something different for charity. Mr Page said: “My wife Lynn has gone through breast cancer, so Keeping Abreast is a charity that is very close to our hearts.” Many of the tractors, decorated in fantastic pink balloons, held collection buckets on the front, for spectators to donate along the trip.

To read more about the life-changing work of Keeping Abreast, please visit their website at

Animals really make a difference to the lives of those living with a disability, and I would really like to highlight the work of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Gill Southgate, from the King’s Lynn fundraising branch has been a guide dog owner for 36 years, and is currently working with her fifth black Labrador, Yazmin, who is not only a great companion, but helps her live with a visual impairment on a day-to-day basis.

The Lynn branch also have two other visually impaired volunteers, and along with 10 other helpers, they hold annual quizzes, coffee mornings, dog shows, and hold stalls at larger events to sell Guide Dog merchandise. The importance of this fundraising cannot be understated, as the lifetime cost of a guide dog is around £50,000, so every penny counts to help change the lives of people living with a visual impairment.

I would really like to urge you to think about volunteering as a puppy walker, or taking part in any events, to help raise awareness, and funds to support this great charity, who really does change people’s lives.

The Norwich Foodbank opened in 2010, and provides emergency food, a listening ear, and even children’s clubs during the school holidays to benefit those who are in need. Local people are encouraged to donate non-perishable food, before it is sorted into ‘nutrition boxes’ by great volunteers, ready to be distributed. The charity also provides a warm welcome, and a listening ear, for those seeking advice, before sending them in the correct direction for more support.

A partnership with the East of England Co-op has recently been established, where you can now donate to the foodbank in store, and workers from the Co-op volunteer over Christmas to make a difference in people’s lives at Christmas time.

Please do consider donating just one item from your festive shopping trolley this Christmas, because small things make a huge difference. For more information, please visit

Please do share your charity stories with me, email all details and a photo to: Follow me on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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