Generous public help our appeal with donations

DONATIONS have been pouring in for our appeal to help West Suffolk charity Gatehouse bring a brighter Christmas to families living in our area.

Our collection box has been quickly filled up with goodies and Waitrose customers at its Bury St Edmunds store have been digging deep and helping to fill our campaign trolley.

Gatehouse is preparing this year’s Christmas hampers which are distributed to needy families and individuals throughout West Suffolk and your generosity means that we can help even more people this year, particularly at a time when the economic cutbacks are affecting more and more people.

Just to remind you what Gatehouse needs for its hampers, we are asking for donations of tinned food, Christmas puddings, small new toys, toiletries and crackers.

Amanda Bloomfield, Gatehouse chief executive, says that demand for help has increased by around 25 per cent this year.

The charity works with housing charities, mental health teams, social services, Sure Start, Snap, which provides housing related services, and family centres.

Hampers are gaily decorated with festive paper and distributed to people in Bury, Stowmarket, Mildenhall, Brandon, Newmarket and Sudbury.

Jo Smith, personnel manager at Waitrose, said: “The response has been quite overwhelming. We have filled one and half of our full-sized trolleys in just a week. People are really getting into the spirit of Christmas and our staff are also very pleased we’re taking part.”

n Gatehouse is also appealing for drivers who have a MIDAS qualification who can help with transport for its annual Christmas lunch. Contact the charity on 01284 754967.