New Wilkinson store provides �1,500 boost for Norwich charities

A new Norwich store has already proved to be a good neighbour by donating �1500 to good causes in the city to celebrate its opening day.

The Wilkinson home and kitchenware store was opened yesterday by former Norwich City star Darren Huckerby together with Lord Mayor Jenny Lay who cut the ribbon at the St Stephen's Street site.

Store manager Keith Yandall presented �500 to three charities in the city after the opening which was also attended by Wilkinson chief executive Stuart Mitchell and town crier David Bullock.

A donation of �500 worth of Wilkinson vouchers, to purchase paint and cleaning products, was given to the Evening News's Graffitibusters campaign to be used in clean-ups in the city.

The campaign was launched in a bid to try and combat the growing number of illegal graffiti tags which are blighting this fine city and is being supported by Norwich police, Central Norwich Citizens' Forum, Norwich City Council and the Norwich City Centre Partnership.

Sergeant Pete Sharples, from the City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT), accepted the vouchers on behalf of the Graffitibusters team.

He said: 'It's wonderful in these times of austerity. We're very pleased and grateful to this new business in the city making this donation to try to combat a city centre problem and we will make good use of the very generous donation.'

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Donations of �500 were also presented to the Darren Huckerby Trust, which supports local community groups and individuals in the area, and civic charity Big C, Norfolk and Waveney's dedicated cancer charity.

The store, situated where the former Co-op once stood, also held a charity raffle to help raise funds for Age UK, its nominated charity of the year.

Mr Yandall said: 'The opening day was a great success and I'm extremely proud of what the team has achieved. I would like to thank our guests, Darren and the Lord Mayor, for joining our celebrations and making the day extra special.

'We're proud to be able to help a wide range of local charities and organisations with our donations and I'm looking forward to the store becoming a central part of the local community.'

As part of the store's opening celebrations, a face painter will be on site tomorrow <SATURDAY> while there will be free popcorn outside from a traditional cart for shoppers.

To find out more about the Graffitibusters campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on campaigns.

Have you got a story for the campaign? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk