Cards to help good causes

Derek James helps launch Norwich's Charity Christmas Card Shop.

Houses cost less than �3,000, petrol was 25p a gallon, queues were forming outside the cinemas to see The Sound of Music and The Beatles took America by storm.

This was 1965, Britain was swinging and in Norwich a group of people were preparing to open a little shop.

While the 60s are now a distant memory, this shop opened again this week, reaching out to the people of Norwich and Norfolk as it has done every year for 45 years.

Our very own Charity Christmas Card Shop was one of the first in the country and it has become part of city life over the decades.

During that first season in business the shop took �2,310. Last year the amount raised was �53,547 and this year the target is �55,000.

Overheads are paid through donations and fund-raising so all profits go directly to the charities concerned. Unlike other charity card shops, no profits from sales are taken into the organisation.

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For years I have been a customer so I was especially pleased to be asked to open the shop, which now has a permanent home at The Assembly House, this week.

Cards from almost 30 charities, local and national, including the civic charity Rotary House, are on sale at the shop which is run entirely by a team of about 100 volunteers.

The shop is open in the Noverre Gallery at The Assembly House seven days a week from now until December 18, Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm, and on Sundays from noon until 4pm.

Please take a look. These charities need and deserve your support and I want to thank all the people who give up their time to run the shop.