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Chance to help Bury charity’s festive food appeal




Gatehouse Christmas hamper food appeal.'Elaine Channen, Lyn Davis, Dave Barton and Amanda Bloomfield'Picture Mark Westley ANL-160928-115800009
Gatehouse Christmas hamper food appeal.'Elaine Channen, Lyn Davis, Dave Barton and Amanda Bloomfield'Picture Mark Westley ANL-160928-115800009

What do 1,640 tins of baked beans and soup, 600 packets of biscuits and pasta, 400 Christmas puddings and 800 Christmas crackers mean to Bury St Edmunds charity Gatehouse?

That’s the number of items the vital organisation needs to fill its Christmas food hampers to ensure those in need can feed their families over the festive season.

The Rose Room is opened at Gatehouse Bury St Edmunds.'Elaine Channen Dementia Hub Facilitator and Amanda Bloomfield CEO, with town Mayor Julia Wakelam and Lorraine Clarke and Simon Curtis from Clarkecare'Picture Mark Westley ANL-160928-115730009
The Rose Room is opened at Gatehouse Bury St Edmunds.'Elaine Channen Dementia Hub Facilitator and Amanda Bloomfield CEO, with town Mayor Julia Wakelam and Lorraine Clarke and Simon Curtis from Clarkecare'Picture Mark Westley ANL-160928-115730009

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, in Dettingen Way, is urging residents, churches and schools to donate as the charity will be issuing an extra 400 parcels in December - on top of the 20 parcels it already hands out each week to families.

“Christmas is one of our most busiest periods of the year and this really helps people,” she said.

The charity’s foodbank has seen a five per cent increase in demand in the last month and Amanda expects to have provided about 700 food parcels by the end of the financial year.

On the reason for the foodbank uptake, Amanda said: “I think people have had extra demands over the summer period - school uniform costs are always a factor at this time of year.”

A ball held to celebrate Gatehouse's 30th anniversary raised �2,500 for the charity's dementia hub project. Picture by Tom Kellett, Tom Kellett Wedding Videography. ANL-160924-145134001
A ball held to celebrate Gatehouse's 30th anniversary raised �2,500 for the charity's dementia hub project. Picture by Tom Kellett, Tom Kellett Wedding Videography. ANL-160924-145134001

Boxes for the Christmas hampers are donated by British Sugar.

Gatehouse runs a free Christmas Day lunch at St Benedicts’ School, which is open to anyone.

Meanwhile, the charity’s plans to create a hub for dementia services continues to gain momentum.

A recent ball at Boxted Hall to celebrate Gatehouse’s 30th anniversary raised £2,500 towards the project. The event, attended by clients, volunteers, staff and supporters, included a three course meal, raffle and concert.

Mayor of St Edmundsbury Julia Wakelam (centre) at the ball. Picture by Tom Kellett, Tom Kellett Wedding Videography.
Mayor of St Edmundsbury Julia Wakelam (centre) at the ball. Picture by Tom Kellett, Tom Kellett Wedding Videography.

“I would especially like to thank the many local businesses who supported the event, which meant we were able to transfer almost all of the income direct to the cause,” Amanda said.

ClarkeCare, in Bury, has also sponsored the Rose Room at Gatehouse which is used for counselling and a podiatry clinic. The hub will cost about £160,000 - half of which has already been raised. They aim to start building work at the end of the year to open next summer.

Contact Amanda on 01284 754967.

To donate money to Gatehouse, visit localgiving.org/charity/gatehouse



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