Pioneering shop opens up to offer cheaper family items

Judy Dow, head of philanthropy at the Norfolk Community Foundation, and Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of

Judy Dow, head of philanthropy at the Norfolk Community Foundation, and Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, at the Burrell shop in Thetford. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant

Families in a Norfolk town will be able to benefit from reduced cost goods as part of a pioneering new scheme to help people in a deprived area.

(From left to right) Judy Dow, head of philanthropy at the Norfolk Community Foundation, Billie Lawl

(From left to right) Judy Dow, head of philanthropy at the Norfolk Community Foundation, Billie Lawler, manager of the Burrell Shop, Tracy Terry, manager of the Engine Room Café at the Charles Burrell Centre, Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, and Mark Robinson, Mayor of Thetford. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant

The new community shop in Thetford promises “good quality and affordable food” and has opened to support those who need it most in the local area.

The Burrell Shop has opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, and works on a membership basis.

After showing proof of address and paying a one-off joining fee of £3.50 per household, members can buy fresh, frozen, dried and tinned food, alongside toiletries, nappies and personal care items provided by charities at a hugely reduced cost.

Membership will be available to the entire Burrell Ward in the new year.

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed l

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed life line for residents who are feeling the pinch after a difficult year. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant


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The shop has been launched in collaboration with the Norfolk Community Foundation as part of the trust’s Surviving the Covid Winter appeal, supported by the Eastern Daily Press, and is one example of how the foundation is tackling food poverty in Norfolk.

Billie Lawler, the shop manager, said: “Now, more than ever, people in our community are struggling financially.

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“If you have been furloughed and are receiving just 80pc of your usual wage, it can be impossible to manage.

“The Burrell Shop will help people stretch their income further to ensure no one goes hungry.

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed l

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed life line for residents who are feeling the pinch after a difficult year. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant

“We also plan to introduce recipe cards and cooking advice and have lots more ideas to help our local families.”

It has been made possible with support and funding from a range of partners including Breckland District Council, who donated £40,000, and national funders such as Feeding Britain.

Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, said: “As a council, we are fully committed to supporting everybody across our district and I’m delighted to be working with community organisations like the Charles Burrell Centre to support local residlor Sents suffering from financial hardship.

“I’m delighted the project has got off to such a strong start and sincerely hope to see it go from strength to strength and inspire similar ventures across Breckland and the county.”

Scan the QR code to donate to the Surviving the Covid Winter appeal. Photo: Norfolk Community Founda

Scan the QR code to donate to the Surviving the Covid Winter appeal. Photo: Norfolk Community Foundation - Credit: Norfolk Community Foundation

If you live in the Burrell Ward and want a membership, visit between 10am and 12pm on weekdays, plus Monday evenings, 4pm to 6pm, or email billie@charlesburrellcentre.org.uk.

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Norfolk Community Foundation’s ‘Surviving the Covid Winter’ appeal, supported by this paper, is raising essential funding to ensure that no one in Norfolk will go hungry this winter.

As more families turn to food banks and local charities to put food on the table, the trust, with the support of the Eastern Daily Press, has been supporting volunteer groups and organisations to tackle food poverty.

Surviving the Covid Winter appeal. Photo: Norfolk Community Foundation

Surviving the Covid Winter appeal. Photo: Norfolk Community Foundation - Credit: Norfolk Community Foundation

The appeal has been boosted by a £200,000 contribution from Norfolk County Council.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “Food insecurity has shot up due to the economic fallout from Covid-19, as people’s income reduces,

“In the first lockdown, 25pc of our emergency funding was awarded to food banks and pop-up food distribution networks.”

“Sadly, economic indicators suggest we are on the brink of a deep and prolonged recession and we cannot rely on crisis measures such as food banks and community pantries to keep people fed and well into the new year.

“But having to accept food handouts on an ongoing basis is no good for anyone’s self-respect or health.

“That’s why we are developing a range of projects that give people control and choice when it comes to feeding their families and themselves.”

You can help by donating online at norfolkfoundation.com/giving-philanthropy/surviving-the-covid-winter/, calling 01603 623958 to make a card payment or sending a cheque to Norfolk Community Foundation, 5th Floor St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN.

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