Thetford mother’s enterprise encourages generosity among hundreds

Gemma Taylor from Thetford has been collecting free items on Facebook then passing them on to people who need them, pictured with her friend and Dee Gilbert and some of the donated items. ANL-151002-230628009
Gemma Taylor from Thetford has been collecting free items on Facebook then passing them on to people who need them, pictured with her friend and Dee Gilbert and some of the donated items. ANL-151002-230628009
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A generous Thetford mother is helping those in need in her community by collecting people’s unwanted items - and giving them away for free.

Gemma Taylor, 25, started up a Facebook page to help people in the area advertise items they wished to give away.

The mother of two, from Gloucester Way, did not expect the page to be so popular.

“It was an idea which just came to me - I never thought it would get this big,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to do something to help people, and I had been looking at doing some voluntary work.

“A lot of the sale pages on Facebook were people posting their items for so much money, and there are alway people who try and bring down the prices because they’re strapped for cash. Even charity shops are expensive now.”

Gemma, a stay-at-home mum for her daughters aged eight and 11 months, said she wanted to do something to help her eventually get back into work.

“There are a lot of things said about people on benefits or who don’t work,” she said.

“I wanted to have something under my belt so when I go to the Jobcentre when my daughters are older, I can say I have been doing something to help others and the community.”

The Facebook page, Free Items For All, Free Goodies For You!, now has more than 550 members.

Items given away include kitchenware, bedding, clothes for any age, DVDs and CDs, books, children’s and babies’ toys, and even an Xbox.

“You’d be surprised what some people can afford to give away,” she said. “We can’t collect large pieces of furniture, but apart from that we take almost anything.”

Gemma receives help from a friend’s partner to collect the items, which have so far come from within a 10-mile radius.

Customers then collect the items they want from Gemma’s home.

Despite not expecting the site’s popularity, Gemma is open to the idea of expanding her scheme.

“If I can expand it then great. I would like to help more people and it seems to be an idea that people have really caught on to.

“Someone said to me I could have made money out of this, but at the end of the day the items are going to someone who can’t afford them, who will appreciate them and make good use of them.”