Towns support children’s Christmas appeal with gift-filled boxes

Rosedale’s Dee Besley and Doug Mizon with the shoeboxes last Christmas.

Rosedale’s Dee Besley and Doug Mizon with the shoeboxes last Christmas. - Credit: Archant

More than 300 shoeboxes have been packed and wrapped for children in need around the world thanks to kind donations from residents in Halesworth, Beccles and Bungay.

The boxes have been put together by staff at Rosedale Funeral Home, which has branches in each town, as part of Operation Christmas Child, the UK’s largest children’s Christmas appeal.

The boxes have been filled with toys and practical gifts, such as toothbrushes, soap and hand knitted hats, and donations are still being accepted until Friday, November 18.

Rachel Chadbon, from Rosedale, said: “We’ve been getting involved with this project for a few years now and throughout the year, our staff and members of the community have brought in their shoeboxes.

“We have been so lucky because we have a wonderful army of knitters who make beautiful items to include in the boxes, such as mittens, hand puppets, bags and purses. People have also been extremely generous and have been donating little gifts to be included and some of the staff got together and organised a shoebox party to help with all the wrapping and packing.”

And this year the teams are holding a special event for everyone who has helped with the appeal, to watch the boxes get loaded onto the lorry and start their journey from the funeral home in Halesworth to be hand delivered to children who need them most in Africa, Eastern Europe and central Asia.

Ms Chadbon said: “We’re opening up the funeral home between 9.30am and 11am on Friday, November 25, and will be serving hot drinks and cake as a way of thanking everyone. We’d also like everyone to be included in a group community shot depicting all the people who have been involved, whether its knitting, donating gifts or helping to wrap the boxes.”

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It will also be a chance to see Rosedale’s Dee Besley who has been absent since June, after undergoing two hospital procedures.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back and seeing everyone,” she said. “I have been overwhelmed by the flowers and cards that I have received from so many well-wishers in the town and it will be lovely to pop in and thank everyone properly.”

Shoeboxes can be officially delivered up until November 18, but anyone who wants to attend the thank you party can take their box along on the day and load it straight onto the lorry.

For more information, contact Ms Chadbon on 01986 875588.