So many memories that have helped good causes
Your postcards have made a real difference to the lives of deaf children in Norwich and across Norfolk
Almost every week a parcel, often more than one, arrives at my desk at the Evening News. Inside are cards, picture postcards – most are memories of happy holidays. Others are memories of historical events, people and places.
For many years now kind readers have taken the time and trouble to sort and send me their cards, old and new, covering just about every subject under the sun.
I pass them on to Michael and Sylvia Porter, now both in their 70s and living at Worlingham, near Beccles, who sell them to raise money for the Norfolk Deaf Children's Society and other charities and good causes.
And what an extraordinary amount of money they have raised.
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The grand total raised now stands at more than �100,000 and the money collected for the society amounts to �88,709, with every penny going to improve the lives of young people with hearing problems across Norwich and the rest of Norfolk.
Sylvia inherited a family postcard collection back in 1973, but the interest only turned into a fund raising idea in 1981 when the couple were inspired by a friend's deaf daughter.
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They heard all about the work of the Norfolk Deaf Children's Society and set about helping them by selling postcards. They made their first donation in September 1981 – it was �1.15.
Decades later the work carries on. An invitation to The Queen's garden party at Buckingham Palace has given their fundraising the royal seal of approval.
'We don't think about the amount of money we have raised, we're just happy to help people. We take life as it comes and do what we can while we can,' said Michael.
He praised both Evening News readers and Radio Norfolk listeners for their support. 'We couldn't do it without them,' he said.
His thanks are echoed by Dylan Harries of the Norfolk Deaf Childrens Society who said: 'Our society would not be able to support deaf children and their families in the way we do without the generous support of people who pass on postcards.'
So where does the money raised by selling your cards go?
It is used to buy equipment for deaf children to use independently, in their home and in school.
'Over 2010/11 we provided deaf children with grants towards home computers to help them with their education,' said Dylan.
'Some of the older children have received grants to buy mobile phones top help them keep in touch with family and friends via texting and we have helped the schools purchase specialist hearing aid equipment which they otherwise would not have been able to get,' he added.
In addition to equipment the society funds regular activities and events which enable deaf children and their families to get together, share experiences and support each other.
They also organise activities and trips which have additional communication support making sure deaf children can enjoy them as much as anyone else.
So please, keep those cards coming in.
You can drop them at our Prospect House office on Rouen Road, Norwich, and at any of our branch offices. If you can't manage that then I can arrange for them to be collected. Give me a call on Norwich (01603) 772420 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org