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Thetford Christmas hamper appeal is launched

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A Thetford marathon runner and Breckland councillor are joining forces again this year to bring Christmas cheer to others in the community.

Melanie Furness and Cllr Stuart Terry are following up on the success of their hamper appeal last year, which saw more than 100 parcels handed out to nominated people in the town.

This time around the pair are hoping to beat last year’s total and help more of the most lonely and isolated people in the area.

Hamper appeal organisers Breckland councillor Stuart Terry and Melanie Furness. Picture by Kevin Hurst.
Hamper appeal organisers Breckland councillor Stuart Terry and Melanie Furness. Picture by Kevin Hurst.

Stuart said: “The feedback we got last year was overwhelmingly positive.

“Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for some, so we hope people will help us remind them that others are thinking of them at this time of year.”

The Charles Burrell Centre, in Staniforth Road, has agreed to be a drop off point for the appeal and that is where the hampers will be packed in December by a team of volunteers.

Mel said: “The centre has been great in supporting us again this year, they are good people.

“In these first couple of weeks we are looking for things such as Christmas cards, crackers and any foods that will last. Then, as we approach November, Christmas puddings and other foods would be amazing.”

The appeal will also be holding events to raise money, including a Christmas quiz which will be held at the centre, on November 26.

The pair are also looking for 10 aspiring bakers to take part in a ‘Take Off With Bake Off’ event on November 20.

Mel said: “We really want the community to get involved, whether it be with these events, volunteering to pack or deliver the hampers or even nominating someone you feel would love one – people’s support is what makes this so special.”

Businesses in the town are also getting involved and the pair feel that this could not only become an annual event but also really help.

Mel said: “The most amazing thing last year was when we surprised people with the hampers and they had no idea they had been nominated.

“The tears and the joy it brought to people’s lives was something I will never forget and I hope we can do that again this year.”

To nominate someone for a hamper, get involved with the events, volunteer or for more details, go to the Thetford Foundation Facebook page.

Read more: All the latest news from Thetford