Salvation Army performs at The Forum

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Performance ends festive fund raising period

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Nearly 5,000 people have appealed for help from the Salvation Army's Christmas Toys and Tins campaign this year.

Each year, the charity hands out food and toy packages for those in need this festive season.

Among those who receive packages for their family is Donna, a single mum of four.

Following a Salvation Army performance, marking the end of both the concert series, and the end of the 2016 campaign, Donna explained how much it meant to have the Salvation Army's support.

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols at The Forum in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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'The Salvation Army started helping me when I just had my two eldest girls,' she said. 'That was about ten years ago now, and they've helped me every Christmas since.'

'I had nothing that first year. I went to a member of the Salvation Army and they gave me presents to give to both my girls.'

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The Norwich mum continued: 'Every Christmas it's a struggle. But just knowing there's someone there to help, and that wants to help, means the world.

'It's nice to know that people recognise you're struggling, and remember you at this time of year.'

Donna, 36, added: 'The Salvation Army are like a family to me, it breaks my heart when my children ask for presents and I have to say I can't afford it.

'My older two girls know the gifts come from the Salvation Army, and they appreciate it so much, they know how much I struggle and it really gives them something to look forward to.'

This year, Donna was hit hard when changes were made to the benefit cap.

'After I pay my rent I have literally nothing left,' she said. 'I told the Salvation Army and someone's offered to buy us Christmas Dinner. Now I don't have to worry about feeding my kids, it'll last us the whole of Christmas week.'

Last year, more than 4,000 people across Norfolk were given support in the form of a food or toy hamper.

Hazel Sommerville, Toys and Tins co-ordinator for Norwich, said: 'We've noticed in Norwich we've had a 10pc increase in referrals for help, but this demand has been more than matched in giving.

'We really appreciated all donations, whether it was one tin or a car full!'

The Salvation Army's performance took place today at The Forum in Norwich, and was broadcast by BBC Radio Norfolk.

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