You can do better than giving up sugar in your tea at Lent

PUBLISHED: 19:56 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:01 05 March 2019

Ruth Cordle at work at the Stepping Stones Cafe, Norwich.  Photo: Nicola Cordle

Ruth Cordle at work at the Stepping Stones Cafe, Norwich. Photo: Nicola Cordle


Anyone who knows me will testify that I like a cup of tea (actually, probably 10 mugs a day).

Norwich foodbank project manager Hannah Worsley.
 PHOTO: Nick ButcherNorwich foodbank project manager Hannah Worsley. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

It’s dawned on me that it’s 30 years ago this week since I packed up having sugar in my brew.

My first post as a young journalist was in the Cromer bureau and while there I lodged with a family who all gave something up for Lent.

They encouraged me to join them – so it was the sweet 
addition which had to go. Ever since then, I’ve never looked back and I now can’t stand a cuppa with sugar in it .

Lent is associated with making a sacrifice and giving something up which it is hard to do without.

As Lent 2019 gets under way, I’d urge everyone to take the plunge – and be more radical than doing without sugar. But I also think it’s a great time to take something up which has a really positive impact on others.

I was really inspired this week by a piece on the BBC’s Inside Out programme about an initiative called Gig Buddies, where someone volunteers to go out to events with people with learning difficulties.

It featured a young woman called Ruth Cordle, who lives near Dereham, and is one of the most amazingly positive people I know.

I’d thoroughly recommend catching up with it on iPlayer and I’m sure it will prompt us all to want to reach out to support others.

The Trussell Trust – the brilliant organisation behind Foodbanks – has organised its own Lent #40for40 initiative, including challenging people to live on £1 a day.

Easy? No way.

A great idea? Definitely.

They are also inviting folk to put aside 40p a day for each of the 40 days of Lent, then give the total to help foodbanks plus give up an item they love and donate what they would have spent to the great cause.

We live in a world where so many are in desperate need – so let’s use this period to really make a difference in our communities.

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