Community exceeds fundraising target to help families in need

Pictured left to right: Daniel Murphy, John Murphy, Frances Rayner, Shane Gardner and Sarah Appleton. 

Pictured left to right: Daniel Murphy, John Murphy, Frances Rayner, Shane Gardner and Sarah Appleton. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

A community that came together to virtually cycle 601 miles to France to feed local families in need have exceeded their fundraising target.

Volunteers behind the No Child Hungry campaign in Downham Market took to spin bikes on their town square on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 to raise £4,500 to provide food parcels for those struggling in the area.

They were joined by people and businesses in the local community, who took turns on both days to complete the challenge in 12 hours.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign. - Credit: Frances Rayner

The project, which is funded by donations, was set up during the Christmas period to provide food and hygiene items for young people and families struggling. 

It has since carried on following continued need in the area to ensure support is still available for those who need it. 

Organiser Frances Rayner said the virtual event was "superb" and the money raised will allow the scheme to continue to make a difference to the lives of service users.


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She said: "I'm absolutely blown away by the massive and generous support we have had. This means so much to the service.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign. - Credit: Frances Rayner

"We can continue the good work and also look to extend the offer through supper clubs and education around food and nutrition for the young people and the parents, and caters the Swan support.

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"Exciting things can now be planned that will make a significant change to their lives."

Businesses and people donated to the cause and more than £4,500 has now been raised following local efforts and a JustGiving page being set up.

Around 40 people took part in the virtual journey from Downham Market to its twinning town of Civray in France, raising £900 between them across the two days.

The money raised will now enable the scheme to continue to the end of August.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign.

The Downham Market community came together to collectively cycle 601 miles for the No Child Hungry campaign. - Credit: Frances Rayner

Over the two week Christmas period 98 children from more than 50 families were supported through the project, and since January 57 children from 26 families have been supported.

Currently 32 children from 13 families access the service.

Food parcels cost around £5.50 and consist of items such as cereal, milk, bread and cheese.

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