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Around 100 Bury St Edmunds families to be helped after Bury Free Press festive foodbank appeal for Gatehouse charity





Around 100 residents will be helped over Christmas thanks to this year’s Bury Free Press festive foodbank appeal.

Dozens of bags and boxes filled with food and gifts were donated during the six-week appeal, which will now be made into festive hampers by Gatehouse charity volunteers and given to those in need.

Charity CEO Amanda Bloomfield said: “We will now be able to provide them with those luxury items this year, helping to support those that would otherwise go without.

CEO Amanda Bloomfield with Bury Free Press and Suffolk News reporter Kaia Nicholl and Gatehouse staff member Clive Williams . Picture: Mecha Morton
CEO Amanda Bloomfield with Bury Free Press and Suffolk News reporter Kaia Nicholl and Gatehouse staff member Clive Williams . Picture: Mecha Morton

“It is really great to see the community coming together to help those in need, especially at the moment.

“It makes a really big difference to those that need it,” she added.

Donated items included more than 100 tins and jars of non-perishable food, dozens of new children’s toys and clothing and small gifts for adults.

The donations come after a six-week Bury Free Press and Suffolk News campaign. Picture: Mecha Morton
The donations come after a six-week Bury Free Press and Suffolk News campaign. Picture: Mecha Morton

Most notably, a box full of jewellery that appeared to be handmade was donated during the appeal.

Amanda said of these gifts: “It is really nice to see that people are putting in the effort, in particular with handmade items and gifts that they have chosen, to really think about the people who need help.”

The foodbank has seen exponential demand this year, with 600 emergency hampers needed to cover the need over the Christmas period.

This around six times more than what the charity supplied when its foodbank launched 10 years ago.

The goods will be handed to families in need by Gatehouse charity. Picture: Mecha Morton
The goods will be handed to families in need by Gatehouse charity. Picture: Mecha Morton
Clive Williams who works at Gatehouse. Picture: Mecha Morton
Clive Williams who works at Gatehouse. Picture: Mecha Morton

Throughout the campaign, Amanda has spoken out about the increase in people seeking help from their services.

She said due to pressures with the cost of living crisis, inflation on everyday items, and rising fuel costs, she was not expecting the demand to end any time soon.

“Every year the need is increasing and the continued support is very much appreciated by the charity,” she explained. “Without your help we wouldn’t be able to provide the many services that we offer.”

As well as their festive hampers, Gatehouse offers a Christmas lunch for those who may otherwise be alone for the holiday.

The charity is currently facing exponential demand. Picture: Mecha Morton
The charity is currently facing exponential demand. Picture: Mecha Morton

Taking place on December 25 at St Benedict’s School, in Beetons Way, the lunch is well-attended every year.

Amanda hopes this year’s event will help people suffering loneliness or going through a difficult time to enjoy themselves and have some company.

Those who wish to donate money to the charity can do so at www.localgiving.com/charity/gatehouse.