'This appeal has brought joy' - 19,000 gifts delivered after fundraiser
- Credit: The Salvation Army
People from across Norfolk have rallied to support a charity's Christmas appeal.
The Salvation Army’s toys and tins appeal tries to make sure families do not go without at Christmas.
In Norfolk, families, workplaces, faith groups and community leaders have rallied to support in new ways as a result of the pandemic, with more than £14,000 donated via a JustGiving page and 650 presents via an Amazon Wish List.
Donations from the public have enabled volunteers to sort, pack and deliver approximately 19,000 gifts.
Leader of The Salvation Army in Norfolk, Major Derek Jones, said: “We’re so grateful for the generosity of the public that has helped us meet the increase in demand for support for families who have been struggling because of the pandemic.”
The appeal has seen a 27pc increase in referrals for vulnerable children from social services, schools and support groups as well as struggling parents contacting The Salvation Army direct.
In Fakenham there has been a 74pc increase, with 178 people, 78 adults and 100 children accessing the appeal, compared with last year's 102.
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So far, they have shared Christmas joy with 6,766 vulnerable people across Norfolk, including 3,810 children who will have presents to open on Christmas Day.
Each family referred to The Salvation Army receives a Christmas hamper of food and each child receives on average five gifts, including one or two larger items and stocking fillers.
Volunteers started packing food boxes and presents two weeks earlier than usual, as social distancing measures required them to work in smaller groups.
Teenagers and young adults from Salvation Army churches also stepped in to cover evening shifts as many older volunteers continue to shield.
Major Derek Jones said that without the appeal, people could go without any form of Christmas.
“Without the toys and tins appeal, the families we have been supporting would have had to make difficult decisions between buying food, paying household bills and affording the cost of Christmas,” he said.
"In a year when there has been a lot of sadness, this appeal has brought joy and hope to thousands of people across our county.”