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Mel hoping to spread hamper happiness for Christmas




Thetford marathon-running fundraiser has started a Christmas hamper appeal for those she described as the 'lost generation' of lockdown.

Melanie Sturman wants people to help her fill 100 hampers for the elderly in time for the festivities after being influenced by her mum and dad.

She said: "They are 91 and 92 and they said to me that if it wasn't for their two daughters, me and my sister, they would not see anyone and it got me thinking about what I could do to lift people's spirits,

Melanie Sturman, who also completed 300 marathons this year, is hoping people will help her fill 100 Christmas hampers for the elderly.Picture by Mark Westley.
Melanie Sturman, who also completed 300 marathons this year, is hoping people will help her fill 100 Christmas hampers for the elderly.Picture by Mark Westley.

"So I spoke to Thetford and District Dementia Support and to the luncheon club at the Methodist Church and I decided I would try to do this for their members who have been unable to attend."

She hopes people will donate Christmas food items, by dropping them off at the Charles Burrell Centre in Staniforth Road, marked for the 'Christmas Hamper Appeal' before December 9, so the boxes can be wrapped up and delivered by the two organisations to people that need them.

The social care worker said: "We are hoping people will donate non perishable items, such as tins, cakes and biscuits up to the start of December then vegetables, meats and that sort of thing during our final week,

"I just wanted to do this for the elderly, who I feel have been the forgotten generation during these lockdowns and with most shielding in the previous one, having little contact with others and not being able to socialise, I thought this would put a smile on quite a few faces."

To also raise money for the appeal, Mel has organised a virtual Santa dash event.

The highly popular Santa Run which normally takes place in the town in December has been cancelled due to the pandemic but Mel still wanted to do something for runners and walkers as well as help her appeal.

She said: "We are encouraging people to run or walk a distance of their choice between December 13 and 20, it is only £5 to enter, with some of that money going towards the hamper appeal as well,

"There is no age limit and it is for all abilities and there is also a medal in it for the participants. By taking part in this you will also be helping our community too."

To find out more about the Santa Dash, go to www.marafunevents.co.uk/apps/webstore/products