Buy biscuits to help Norfolk cancer victims - plea

Many people going to the Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for the first time are shocked, saddened and scared, fearing the future after a cancer diagnosis.

Each person who comes through the doors – more than 1,000 in a month – is greeted with a cup of tea and a biscuit and offered a warm, friendly place to sit and spend time.

But the cost of more than 1,000 biscuits a month adds up – and a Taverham businesswoman has begun a campaign to collect packets of biscuits to keep the centre well stocked.

Jill Watkinson, 52, decided to begin her project after a visit to the centre on September 15 with friends.

'I had no idea of the work they do,' she said. 'Actually physically going to the centre and meeting the staff was a real eye- opener.

'But the staff told me that they rely on donations or buy biscuits out of their funds, and I just thought that can't be right.'

After the visit Mrs Watkinson, who works as an events promoter, spoke to the Business Club in Norwich and people at the police headquarters in Wymondham, encouraging them to buy biscuits.

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'The response has been amazing – people have been really enthusiastic.

'I have collected about 14 carrier bags full of packets of biscuits so far, and I hope people will keep giving.

'I've had donations from Clapham and Collinge solicitors and the BNI business networking group in Colman, so I hope it keeps spreading.

'The best thing we could do is try to get local supermarkets or companies to donate biscuits regularly.'

Big C publicity manager Sharon Hulbert said: 'We're very grateful for the efforts Jill has made and for all the people who have supported her. Just as giving someone a biscuit when they arrive is a small thing that makes a big difference, Jill's donations are making a big difference to the staff and the people who use the centre.'

For more information or to donate biscuits, contact Jill Watkinson by emailing or on Twitter at

Are you doing something amazing for charity? Contact reporter Mary Hamilton on 01603 772418 or email