Basket Brigade Norwich volunteers bring tears of joy to many

People without hope of a normal Christmas were given the ingredients for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings thanks to the charitable spirit and dedication of a basket wielding charitable army.

The Norwich Basket Brigade, pictured, a volunteer organisation, made and delivered 200 hampers to people struggling financially or through personal hardship, across Norfolk on December 23.

The hampers contained all the vegetables, trimmings, party poppers and puddings needed for a Christmas day, including a large turkey.

More than 60 volunteers packed the baskets at Queens Hills School in Costessey, and all the money raised – more than �5,000 in total – for the �65 hampers came from public nominations and fundraising by the group.

The hampers were given out to people who had been nominated anonymously by someone close to them, who thought they deserved it.

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Louise Harris, 32 from Queens Hills, is chairman of the group that organised the Basket Brigade.

Ms Harris said: 'Many people cried at the door, amazed someone actually cared about them.

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'The whole thing is about giving and showing that strangers care.

'People who got them literally could not afford a Christmas dinner. It's so amazing to be part of such an event where it is all about giving.'

The hampers contained a card saying 'to a friend, this comes from someone who cares, all we ask is that you enjoy your Christmas and take care of yourself'.

The management team of the Sainsbury's store at Longwater helped source and then stored 200 Norfolk turkeys and Apex car rental Norwich leant vans to deliver the hampers.

Hampers were delivered to Great Yarmouth, Diss, Watton, Ipswich, Kings Lynn, Fakenham, Norwich and surrounding villages, with volunteers ranging from toddlers to pensioners.

Ms Harris added: 'I feel so proud of the whole team for giving so much of their time.

'The nominations we received this year had us in tears, some days I could barely get my words out.

'It feels great to know that we impacted so many lives this year and I would like to thank everyone who made that happen.'

The group are hoping to grow next year, and have set themselves a target of delivering 500 hampers.

If you would like to get involved, email or contact them through their website at

Do you have a heartwarming story for Local Life? Call David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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