The bid to drive down homelessness and deprivation in Norfolk reached a major milestone at the weekend with the presentation of just under £30,000 to a prominent local night shelter.
Representatives from St Martin’s Housing Trust, which runs the Norwich Night Shelter for homeless individuals, received a cheque for £29,249.43 at the All Saints Church in Old Buckenham on Saturday morning.
The funds, presented by Lord Bishop Graham James of Norwich, is comprised of £27,749 from initiatives such as supermarket bucket collections and donations at the village’s annual Christmas carol service, while a further £1,000 was provided by the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust, and another £543 was donated by the church.
Mike Bartlett, Old Buckenham Village Hall committee member and one of the key fundraisers, praised the support given in the Diss area, which included collections at the Victoria Road Tesco store, Costa Coffee shop, Sophies and Cafe Milan during the pre-Christmas period.
He said: “Of course the generosity of the communities is much appreciated.
“With the support of Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and communities within the county, the charity has come a long way, now aiming to provide shelter of more acceptable standard.”
Mr Bartlett stated St Martin’s Housing Trust, which first began back in 1972, had now taken out a lease on an additional property in Lakenham, Norwich that contains around 34 rooms. This will be occupied by older homeless people.
Bishop Graham also applauded the people of Old Buckenham and the surrounding area for their continued support of the charity over many years, claiming some people were probably contributing in excess of what they could actually afford.
For more information about the work of St Martin’s Housing Trust or to find out about making a donation, contact 01603 667706 or see www.stmartinshousing.org.uk