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Table tennis challenge in Norwich shopping centre to raise funds for The Hamlet charity

PUBLISHED: 20:14 16 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:00 17 December 2017

Members of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club ready for their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. From left, Leigh Claxton, Sam Carson, Doug Randall, Stuart Laws, Kevin Stone, and Dan Millburn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Members of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club ready for their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. From left, Leigh Claxton, Sam Carson, Doug Randall, Stuart Laws, Kevin Stone, and Dan Millburn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Shoppers and sports enthusiasts battled it out for 12 hours in a charity table tennis match.

Members of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club ready for their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. From left, Leigh Claxton, Sam Carson, Doug Randall, Stuart Laws, Kevin Stone, and Dan Millburn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMembers of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club ready for their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. From left, Leigh Claxton, Sam Carson, Doug Randall, Stuart Laws, Kevin Stone, and Dan Millburn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The ping-pong-a-thon, in aid of The Hamlet, was hosted in the new Ping Pong Parlour at Norwich’s Castle Mall.

About 26 people from the Norwich City Table Tennis Club competed against each other and shoppers from 8am-8pm on December 16.

As well as the ping pong matches, representatives from The Hamlet did Christmas gift wrapping in the shopping centre to raise funds.

The charity, which started in 1972, is the Castle Mall’s charity of the year, and looks after Norfolk children and adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs.

Members of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMembers of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kim Lister, The Hamlet fundraising co-ordinator, said: “The ping-pong-a-thon is great. It is fun and a bit different.”

She added that and the gift wrapping, which carries on until Christmas Eve, raised awareness of the charity.

“People are wanting to find out more about us,” Miss Lister said. “We are still a small charity so it is nice for us to get our name out there.”

She added fundraising events like the ping-pong-a-thon and gift wrapping were “extremely important”.

Sam Carson of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club in action during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSam Carson of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club in action during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It costs about £1m to run the charity each year.

The charity supports babies to adults at two of its three Norwich bases, on Grapes Hill and Ella Road.

Activities include social clubs, parent and toddler sessions and day care services.

The charity still has to fundraise despite receiving government money.

Stuart Laws of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club in action during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStuart Laws of the Norwich City Table Tennis Club in action during their 12-hour Pong-a-thon at the Castle Mall, raising funds for The Hamlet Charity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich City Table Tennis Club head coach, Stuart Laws, 46, from South Hill Road in Thorpe St Andrew, said: “It has been going very well. Shoppers are coming in and it has been friendly. It is a bonus to have a charity involved. It is good to combine table tennis and do something for a good cause.”

Robert Bradley, Castle Mall centre manager, said: “We are excited to host a ping-pong-athon. The beauty of the parlour is that it’s just for fun. It gives a great space for local community groups and charities to use.”

The Hamlet Centre Christmas gift wrap station is on the second floor of the mall by Gifted.

Visit www.thehamletchary.org.uk

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