Christmas parcels for those seeking asylum in Norwich
This weekend a large team of volunteers from Christian charities St Thomas Norwich Trust and English+ will deliver Christmas parcels of food, money and presents to people across Norwich seeking asylum, accompanied with an invitation to a free Christmas Day lunch.
For the fourth year running St Thomas Norwich Trust and local Christian charity English+ are packing up parcels, writing Christmas cards and delivering festive treats to individuals and families seeking asylum in Norwich.
A large team of volunteers will gather on Sunday, December 16 to pack the parcels which contain food, a handwritten Christmas card, a small financial gift, and Christmas presents. St Thomas Church is also inviting every recipient to a free Christmas Day lunch at St Thomas Norwich Church Hall from 12pm to 3pm.
The items have been donated by Norwich Foodbank, Easters of Norwich, The Tacons Farm Shop and Norwich Knitters and Stitchers. For the first time the project will also include a Christmas gift for every member of the family. These gifts have been given by members of the church and the wider community who have visited the Sanctuary Coffee Stop and the Mitre.
Every parcel is decorated with a beautiful, hand-knitted Christmas bow, lovingly made by one lady who was welcomed with a Christmas parcel in 2016, now settled in Norwich and finding ways to help others.
Annabeth Taylor, Social Action Leader at St Thomas Norwich Trust said: “This project is a really great way to meet people new to Norwich, who have overcome traumatic and challenging circumstances resulting in seeking asylum here in the UK. Our hope is to offer these Christmas parcels as a means of welcoming them here to Norwich and to offer a point of contact to help them rebuild their lives.
“It is such a worthwhile project that we look forward to every year. I am hugely impacted every time I deliver a parcel, just seeing the delight on people’s faces, but the most moving response for me was when a lady told me the food parcel meant that she could afford to buy a small present for her young child that Christmas.”
The volunteer team are gathering at St Alban’s Church on Grove Walk from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday to pack up over 70 food parcels, 147 Christmas gifts bags. The parcels will continue to be delivered throughout the week before Christmas.