Alive UK Christmas appeal helps over 900 families across Norfolk

News: 1 February 2024

Back to news

Throughout November and December 2023, we once again supported Alive UK, a local charity which aims to provide emergency support for people in crisis in Norfolk, with its annual Christmas toys and gifts appeal. The appeal aimed to help those in desperate circumstances to give their children a gift at Christmas.

We asked our visitors to kindly donate unwrapped Christmas gifts, toys and chocolates, and the generosity we witnessed was truly outstanding.

2,101 gifts and treats were donated, and this resulted in more than 900 families being supported. The gifts went out as far as Framlingham, Thetford, Diss, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, North Walsham and all areas of Norwich.

We caught up with Jo Thorne, chair of trustees and pastor of Alive Church, who said: “This year we helped many families where they felt they were failing their children. One child wrote, ‘Dear Santa, I just don’t want my mum to feel sad anymore, she works so hard and is tired all the time.’ Another wrote ‘Dear Santa. If I could choose 3 things for Christmas it would be a happy home, no worries about food and my friends to have something nice for Christmas’. We helped these families.”

Jo went on to share some heartwarming stories and told us: “One mum came to me on Christmas Eve and threw her arms around me. She said, ‘I made them tell me who did this and saved us. I was so scared as I didn’t know what I would say to the kids. I’ve always been an honest parent but I couldn’t tell the children I couldn’t buy them a gift.’ One of our key volunteers told me that one family made cards. The parents told the children that this year the presents were from angels. They are making cards to send to the angels. Thank you Chantry Place and to your visitors and retailers for supporting us, and allowing us to help so many families.”

Thank you to everyone who supported the Alive Christmas appeal.

To keep up to date with things happening in the Centre, follow us on socials @chantryplacenorwich or visit