Fundraising boost for Norfolk charity St Martins Housing Trust

The Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, presents a cheque to St Martins Housing Trust chairm

The Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, presents a cheque to St Martins Housing Trust chairman of trustees Colin Bland. Picture by: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

More than £27,000 has been raised for a Norwich-based homeless charity thanks to the efforts of volunteers collecting at supermarkets and contributions from businesses and local organisations.

Supporters of St Martins Housing Trust – which helps those who are homeless in Norwich and across Norfolk – gathered at Old Buckenham Church Rooms on Saturday where the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, presented the charity with a cheque for £27,292.

The total was further boosted by £1,000 from Old Buckenham 2000 Trust, which had raised money by providing festive entertainment for supermarket shoppers in Attleborough, and this was handed over by David Hannah.

All Saints' Church had also raised £543 from a Christmas Eve carol service, and John Frost gave the charity the cheque on behalf of the church.

Colin Bland, chairman of trustees at St Martins Housing Trust, thanked everyone for their fundraising efforts and spoke of how the charity was facing extra pressure because of an increase in homelessness, with the number of people found sleeping rough on the streets appearing to have risen by 21pc in the last 12 months.

He also spoke of how St Martins had obtained 34 apartments at Lakenfields, in Lakenham, for older homless people, and said how important fundraising was for this project.

John Hales, from the charity, also emphasised the importance of clothing and food donations.

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When presenting the cheque, Bishop Graham reflected on his own experience of collecting funds for charity at a Norwich supermarket and how he was humbled by contributions from shoppers.

St Martins Housing Trust strives to help homeless people in Norwich and Norfolk through offering emergency accommodation, residential care and support to help people achieve their full potential and a greater level of independence.

For more information about St Martins Housing Trust and its services visit the charity's website at

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