Public donations help charitable Norfolk couple fund recovery of hundreds of gifts 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 whose trip to deliver Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children was cut short when their van broke down are able to recover the vehicle and the presents inside it after receiving more than £1,000 in donations.

Jerry and Cathy Cuthbert set off from their home in East Harling on Boxing Day to deliver presents to 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.

Mr and Mrs Cuthbert had to leave it – and the gifts inside – behind and catch a train back to the UK.

They appealed to the public for help to raise money for the van's recovery and have been astounded by the response, with a fundraising webpage set up in their aid raising £1,045 in two days.

Mrs Cuthbert said they had been 'overwhelmed' by the support.

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With the funds raised, the couple have arranged for the van to be brought back to their local garage, Banham Vehicle Services, on Wednesday.

Mr Cuthbert said once the van 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 donate towards the van's repairs, go to 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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