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Norwich charity Christmas card shop opens in new location

The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card shop returns for 2020 in a new location at St Peter Mancroft Church, pictured (L-R) Liz Groves (volunteer), Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas, Liz Magem (volunteer) and Chris Sanham (head verger and events co-ordinator at St Peter Mancroft Picture: Louisa Baldwin

The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card shop returns for 2020 in a new location at St Peter Mancroft Church, pictured (L-R) Liz Groves (volunteer), Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas, Liz Magem (volunteer) and Chris Sanham (head verger and events co-ordinator at St Peter Mancroft Picture: Louisa Baldwin

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The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop is now open and the team of volunteers are hoping to beat last year’s fundraising total of £32,000.

The shop is located in the corner of St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich, opposite The Forum Picture: Louisa BaldwinThe shop is located in the corner of St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich, opposite The Forum Picture: Louisa Baldwin

The shop is back for its 55th year and has moved from St Stephens Street, its location in 2018 and 2019, to St Peter Mancroft Church, opposite The Forum.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, officially opened the shop on Friday and it will be open Monday to Saturday from 11.15am to 2.30pm until December 12.

It will raise money for 20 different charities this year, including St Martins Housing Trust, Norwich Samaritans and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

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The team of volunteers at The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop - (L-R) Liz Groves, Sheila Mitchell, Christine Howes, Liz Magem, Jacky Brooks and Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas Picture: Louisa BaldwinThe team of volunteers at The Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop - (L-R) Liz Groves, Sheila Mitchell, Christine Howes, Liz Magem, Jacky Brooks and Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas Picture: Louisa Baldwin

Alongside local and regional causes, the shop also supports national and international charities, such as Oxfam and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Each has its own section and provides a range of cards.

It is completely run by a team of volunteers and 100pc of the money raised goes back to the charities, with a Christmas hamper raffle running with £1 tickets to cover any overheads.

Customers can also buy calendars, wrapping paper and tags and for the first time this year they are accepting card as well as cash.

Liz Magem, secretary of the shop, said: “Every year we wait for an empty or pop-up shop so obviously this year with Covid it was a real worry, but the church got in touch with us and asked if we would like to open there.

Each charity has its own selection of cards and 100pc of the money raised goes back to them Picture: Louisa BaldwinEach charity has its own selection of cards and 100pc of the money raised goes back to them Picture: Louisa Baldwin

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“Last year we raised over £32,000 and although this year we have shorter opening hours because we are in the church, we are open for a longer period before October half-term so are hoping to beat last year’s total.”

The shop is located in the corner of the church and to make sure it is Covid-safe there is a one-way system and a fogging machine is used on the cards every morning and evening.

Mrs Magem added: “People should come and support us because charities have really struggled during lockdown and it is one of a few opportunities for them to raise funds.”

All the cards on offer are on the wall so people can see the full range Picture: Louisa BaldwinAll the cards on offer are on the wall so people can see the full range Picture: Louisa Baldwin


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