New Year resolution to build on festive succes

A well-earned rest is being enjoyed by the team behind north Norfolk's new Foodbank after a successful first festive appeal.

But after helping scores of people with food parcels over the Christmas period the focus is now on continuing and expanding the work in 2013, with new centres planned at Holt and Aylsham to add to those in Cromer, Sheringham and North Walsham.

The mountain of donations that came in during the build up to Christmas enabled organisers to visit voucher holders who had collected a three-day supply and leave some extras on the doorsteps.

The Rev Sharon Willimott, minister at Cromer Baptist Church which housed the Foodbank's main warehouse, said the 'Santa runs' were only possible thanks to the generosity of donors, helped by the publicity by the News, which has supported the Banking on You appeal.

'We sometimes seem to live in a world where it is 'all about me' but this has been all about giving.

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'And some of the most generous gifts have been from those on lower incomes, because they know what it is like living with no safety net.'

Mrs Willimott also praised the hard work of the volunteers giving up time to sort and pack the orders. The portents had been good when an initial public meeting last year about launching the scheme attracted 100 people. A similar one in Norwich drew just four.

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Among donor groups are Cromer Roman Catholic church, whose member Tony Webster said a small congregation, including people on fixed incomes who could ill afford it, were giving boxes full of food, but added: It is sad in this day and age in a so-called advanced country that we have to do this.'

People receiving the goods however were grateful said Jade Brophy, collecting on behalf of young people in the Benjamin Foundation charity's move-on flats who are seeking to live independently after a spell in a hostel.

'Their benefits mostly go on bills such as gas and electricity so this food really helps,' she said.

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