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Gatehouse charity gives disadvantaged people a special Christmas

Gatehouse chairman of trustees Julia Wakelam with Billy Grimwood who has donated vegetables for the charity's Christmas lunch

Gatehouse chairman of trustees Julia Wakelam with Billy Grimwood who has donated vegetables for the charity's Christmas lunch

Bury St Edmunds-based charity Gatehouse has delivered 300 Christmas hampers to families in need today.

The charity, which has been operating in the town for more than 25 years, also provides Christmas lunches to disadvantaged people.

Chief executive Amanda Bloomfield said around 80 people were expected to attend the charity’s lunch at St Bennedict’s Catholic School on Wednesday, with around 110 volunteers helping to make the day possible.

She said: “We provide a good quality home-cooked Christmas dinner and company for people on their own, isolated on Christmas Day, while our volunteers provide transport to get them to and from the venue. We really just help those unable to enjoy a festive meal at home and provide the community support for them on Christmas Day.”

She added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all of those who volunteer their services on Christmas Day because without them the service wouldn’t take place.”

A number of Bury businesses have also extended a charitable arm.

Waitrose, Baker Tilly and Music Sales donated around £3,000 while Roffs has donated the turkeys, TW Ridleys a ham and the market’s Billy Grimwood has donated vegetables.

Julia Wakelam, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “We at Gatehouse are particularly grateful as we know that, despite the so called up turn, times remain hard for small businesses. One of the most wonderful things about the lunch is the sheer generosity of the people of Bury. Every year I am amazed by it.”

The Bury Lions Club, the Mayor of St Edmundsbury and a volunteer from the Theatre Royal are among people expected to visit during Wednesday’s meal.

Of this year’s Christmas hampers, Mrs Bloomfield said: “A big thank you to anyone who donated to foodbanks and Christmas collections at schools, churches and supermarkets.”

 

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