Donations pour in after Norfolk couple’s plea to help bring van full of Christmas donations back to the UK

Jerry and Cathy Cuthbert, with some of their donated items.

Jerry and Cathy Cuthbert, with some of their donated items. - Credit: Archant

A charitable couple are appealing for help after their van broke down whilst transporting hundreds of gifts to disadvantaged children.

The van which broke down on the way to Romania

The van which broke down on the way to Romania - Credit: Archant

Jerry and Cathy Cuthbert set off from their home in East Harling on Boxing Day to deliver presents to youngsters in the Romanian town of Comanesti.

The pair have made the same trip every year for the past decade and this time collected around 340 shoeboxes worth of donated gifts to hand out.

But just a day after they left, their recently purchased Ford Transit van broke down on a motorway in Cologne, Germany.

And after mechanics were unable to fix the vehicle, Mr and Mrs Cuthbert had to leave it behind and catch a train back to the UK..


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The pair, who arrived back in England on Friday, are now appealing for help to raise enough money to have the van - and the gifts inside - brought back to Norfolk.

A fundraising webpage has been set up with the aim of reaching £2,000 and as of this afternoon it had raised £665 from 24 donations.

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Mr Cuthbert, 52, said: 'For a lot of these kids we deliver to, this is all they will get for Christmas. They will all be waiting for these shoeboxes, but they're not coming.

'My heart just sank when the van broke down. We thought it was going to be something silly like a plug had come undone, but then we heard it wouldn't be fixed without a lot of money. I couldn't believe it.'

The garage in Germany has agreed to keep the van secure, free of charge, for the next 10 days.

Mr Cuthbert said once it is back in the UK, he hopes to have it repaired, before returning to Romania during the next half term break.

Several schools donated shoeboxes to their appeal earlier this year.

To help bring the van back to the UK, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sj-turnerTo find out more visit the UK2ROM Facebook page or call Cathy and Jerry Cuthbert on 01953 717105.

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