Salvation Army fears more people will need help across Norfolk this Christmas following delays in Universal Credit payments

published on 20 Nov 2017

The Salvation Army’s Toys & Tins Appeal, which last year supported nearly 4800 people, launches on Monday 20 November.

Throughout the year, The Salvation Army runs activities and projects for people in need across Norfolk and in recent months Salvation Army churches and community centres have observed an increase in people needing support.

Great Yarmouth Salvation Army runs a food bank in partnership with two other local churches. Major David Lennox, leader of Great Yarmouth Salvation Army, said: “So far this year The Salvation Army has provided more than 3000 food parcels for people in need – that’s 50 per cent more than this time last year.

“Our food bank operates alongside a community drop-in that we run three times a week. People can talk to staff and volunteers in a safe space about their situation and seek guidance and practical help including access to computers, health advice, washing facilities and refreshments. We work to find ways to help people out of their situation. 

“Over the last few months our records show a telling correlation between delays in Universal Credit payments and an increase in people needing our support.

“As we approach Christmas, we will be relying on the generosity of the Norfolk people more than ever as we aim to give families something extra special in addition to the ongoing support we provide all year round.”

Hazel Sommerville, coordinator of the Toys & Tins Appeal, added: 

“The Toys & Tins appeal is an opportunity for our communities to come together and make sure that every family across Norfolk can enjoy some festive treats this Christmas.

“Last year we were amazed by the generosity of the Norfolk people – it helped The Salvation Army transform Christmas for nearly 4800 people.

“The Christmas Story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need but we need your help. If our experiences in Great Yarmouth are anything to go by, this year the need is going to be greater than ever. So please, give generously.”

BBC Radio Norfolk is once again asking its listeners to get behind The Salvation Army’s appeal. Peter Cook, Editor of BBC Radio Norfolk, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Toys and Tins again.  We’re lucky enough to have some amazing listeners who won’t hesitate to get involved and make Christmas very special for those who struggle at this time of year.”

Salvation Army volunteers, musicians and BBC Radio Norfolk will out in the community this week collecting donations. Starting in North Walsham in Market Place on Thursday 23 November, the Toys & Tins team will then travel to the opening day of Great Yarmouth’s Christmas Fayre on Friday 24 November before ending up in Sheringham outside Arnolds Keys Estate Agents on Saturday 25 November. BBC Radio Norfolk’s sleigh will take residence in the Forum, Norwich, from Sunday 19 November.

People are invited to bring their toys and tins to any of these locations between 10am and 2pm so The Salvation Army can start sorting and distributing hampers to families in time for Christmas.

The Toys and Tins Appeal accepts non-perishable food and new, unused toys for children and young people aged nought to 17 years old. If you cannot get to a roadshow location then people are encouraged to visit their local Salvation Army – contact details can be found via

Gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys and accessories for older children. The food hampers hope to include festive treats so Christmas puddings, mince pies and confectionary are needed in addition to tinned goods.

For more information about the Toys & Tins appeal, please visit, phone 01603 724408 or email