Communities rally round for families and the vulnerable this Christmas

Isabel Stubbs, headteacher of Cecil Gowing Infant School in Sprowston, with pupils Luca Kidd, six, (kneeling), and Oliver...

Isabel Stubbs, headteacher of Cecil Gowing Infant School in Sprowston, with pupils Luca Kidd, six, (kneeling), and Oliver Brown, four, Freya Utting, four, and Logan Stock. - Credit: Cecil Gowing Infant School

Schools, villages and generous communities have clubbed together to collect festive hampers and food parcels to help disadvantaged families and the vulnerable.

In Sprowston for the second year running, rather than buying gifts for teachers, parents and carers of pupils at Cecil Gowing Infant School, on Falcon Road West, to donate food items or toiletries.

All the items will go towards the Sprowston Food Hub, a foodbank based at St Cuthbert's Church on Wroxham Road.

Headteacher Isabel Stubbs said: "Because of the coronavirus pandemic some people are in very difficult circumstances.

"The children love giving and we want to teach the children that when they give something to others it makes you happy. Our school is all about happiness."

She added that the foodbank donation project at Christmas would continue each year.

Items donated to the Costessey Community Hampers project for Christmas 2020. 

Items donated to the Costessey Community Hampers project for Christmas 2020. - Credit: Gary Blundell

Nearly 100 Christmas hampers have been made up to go to disadvantaged households and families across Costessey and parts of south Norfolk thanks to the fundraising drive of Costessey Community Hampers.

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It was set up by Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell and his district council wife Sharon, independently from the council organisations, and came out of the Queen's Hills Hamper Drive.

The hamper drive was set up in 2018 by Queen's Hills resident Jacqui Knights, who distributed hampers made up of community donations to vulnerable households and individuals on the estate.

Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell who is calling for safety improvements on William Frost

Gary Blundell who is behind the Costessey Community Hampers project. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Blundell said: "Everyone has had a tough year. Hard working people are losing their jobs but bills do not disappear. The community has been fabulous."

She praised the kindness of people who had over £4,000 worth of toys and festive treats.

Mrs Knights, 34, who is a childminder, said: "I'm really pleased the parcels are continuing and it is great that Gary and Sharon want to help people in the wider Costessey community. Everybody needs help at least once in their life. There is so much going on at the moment. Everyone I know has been financially impacted by coronavirus."

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In Horsford dozens of people have donated fresh food and treats for 20 Christmas Day hampers, worth £200, to be donated to the vulnerable and the elderly in the village.

It was the idea of Anna Green, 38, from Beech Grove in Horsford, who is part of the the Horsford Helpers volunteer group, set up in March.

She said: "It has gone crazy in terms of donations. The coronavirus situation has showed the vulnerability of people. It is heartbreaking."



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