Pop-up shop in Norwich sells 46,000 packs of cards to raise thousands of pounds for good causes

Manager Helen Dingle at the Good Causes charity Christmas card shop in The Forum. Picture: SIMON FIN

Manager Helen Dingle at the Good Causes charity Christmas card shop in The Forum. Picture: SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Simon Finlay

Thousands of charity Christmas cards have been sold in Norwich by a dedicated team of volunteers, raising more than £138,000 to help good causes.

Norwich scenes at the Cards For Good Causes stand at The Forum, Norwich. Picture: Andy Darnell.

Norwich scenes at the Cards For Good Causes stand at The Forum, Norwich. Picture: Andy Darnell. - Credit: Archant � 2009

The city's branch of Cards for Good Causes sold more than 46,000 packs during the ten weeks before Christmas, ranking it third best out of the organisation's 300 other shops.

Doreen Graham has volunteered for the Norwich branch for more than 10 years. She said: 'We were all so amazed at the amount we made in just 10 weeks. All of our volunteers are over the moon - as we always are - and so are our customers.'

The pop-up Christmas card shop opened for business in the Norfolk and Norwich Library in October, before moving into The Forum where it stayed until just before Christmas.

The shop is part of a network of more than 300 temporary shops run by Cards for Good Causes, the UK's largest multi-charity Christmas card organisation, which has supported the work of national and local charities including Break, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Hillside Animal Sanctuary.

It has always attracted a lot of support, from selling designs created by local artists Joe Mclean and Beverley Gene Coraldean, to being opened by celebrities including actors from Norwich Theatre Royal's pantomimes.

Earlier this month, Royal Mail reported being hit by sharp drop in letter mailing over Christmas season.

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Reflecting on what made people purchase the cards, Mrs Graham said she believed it was because for many it was something close to their hearts.

'Everybody has got their favourite charity and everybody wants to help their particular cause. It also helps that there is a lot of good will at this time of year and people want to get involved with that too.'

Shop manager Helen Dingle praised the volunteers for their dedication raising funds and awareness for the branch's 40 local and national charities.

Jeremy Lune, chief executive of Cards for Good Causes, echoed that ethos.

He said: 'Our shops simply could not operate without our wonderful team of volunteers, many of whom return year after year.

'The Norwich team has done brilliantly this year, in spite of having to temporarily move the shop during its trading period, and I'd like to thank them all for their sterling efforts. We look forward to returning to Norwich city centre later in the year and do get in touch with us if you'd like to join the team.'

The volunteers recently enjoyed their annual lunch at City College Norwich's Debut restaurant, on Ipswich Road, to celebrate.

Mrs Graham added: 'The volunteers would like to say a big thank you for their wonderful support over the years and we look forward to seeing them again in 2017.'

Have you raised funds for a local charity? Email reporter Donna-Louise Bishop at donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk or ring 01603 772326.

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