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Bury St Edmunds foodbank charity Gatehouse appeals for help to stock up for Christmas




A Bury St Edmunds foodbank charity is appealing for donations after stocks were depleted due to the pandemic – and in preparation for its Christmas hamper project.

Gatehouse says its shelves need refilling after distributing more than 2,500 parcels and serving 1,500 people at its mini-supermarket over the last 18 months.

The charity is gearing up for December when it delivers about 500 hampers to families in need with food provided by schools, churches and the community.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, is appealing for items for its foodbank and is asking people to think of the charity for its Christmas project. Picture: Mark Westley
Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, is appealing for items for its foodbank and is asking people to think of the charity for its Christmas project. Picture: Mark Westley

It is urging people to think about donating to the charity, particularly those with harvest festivals on the horizon.

As winter approaches, chief executive Amanda Bloomfield said: “We’re concerned the foodbank and hampers will have a higher demand than ever before. We’re already getting requests quite early this year going into the winter period and we will be looking at what services we can offer focusing on keeping people warm and well-fed.”

Gatehouse will also host a Christmas Day lunch at St Benedict’s Catholic School for between 100 to 150 people who would otherwise be on their own.

Amanda said Gatehouse is preparing to host a Christmas Day lunch this year. Picture: Mark Westley
Amanda said Gatehouse is preparing to host a Christmas Day lunch this year. Picture: Mark Westley

The event was cancelled last year with smaller lunches held throughout December serving 70 people in groups.

The charity’s Christmas project, now in its 34th year, has received £1,500 from this year’s main sponsor The Ridley Godfrey Foundation.

Nicola Godfrey said: “We hope this donation will be greatly received by all and sends festive cheer to those who need it most.”

Meanwhile, Frederick Hiam has given 500 boxes for the hampers and Roffs Catering provides the Christmas Day turkeys as well as the crockery and cutlery.

Staff from Greene King and HSBC have also offered to volunteer.

Amanda said: “I’m honoured that these businesses, who have all been hit during the pandemic ,are still able to support our charity.

“The Christmas project is always such a pleasure to deliver and the difference it makes to those who are most vulnerable in the community is evident from the joy on their faces and makes the job worthwhile.”

She noted that as statutory organisations withdraw support offered during the pandemic, charities will be required to meet the need.

“Gatehouse is looking at how we can respond post-pandemic – what services we can put back in and what new services will be needed,” she added.

Donations can be made to Gatehouse directly in Dettingen Way or via collection points at Waitrose or the Co-op, in Out Risbygate.

To help Gatehouse or for information about attending the lunch, call Amanda on 01284 754967 or email info@gatehouse.org.uk

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