Portsmouth families have a brighter Easter thanks to gardening tool donations and more than 500 Easter eggs for church appeal

SWEET treats and flower seeds will brighten up Easter for families thanks to hundreds of donations to a community appeal.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 3:46 pm
Mel Goddard, family services manager at the Roberts Centre, and Jo Eamey, business support and development director at Stop Domestic Abuse, receiving the Easter donations from Canon Bob White, vicar at St Mary's Church in Fratton

Flower pots, gardening tools and 537 Easter eggs were among the many gifts donated to a charitable drive set up by St Mary’s Church, Fratton, for the fifth year.

Along with £250 cash and 200 bags of sweets and chocolates, these donations have been handed over to Stop Domestic Abuse and the Roberts Centre to lift the spirits of families.

Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary's Church, met with charity representatives to share these gifts as they look towards a brighter future with lockdown beginning to ease.

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Father Bob, who was pleased to see this following the Comfort and Joy Christmas appeal’s success, said: ‘This carries on in the same spirit of the community supporting each other and the generosity and desire to reach out to those around us.

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‘People are really reaching out to the people on the margins who are struggling.

‘We’re looking forward to things improving and people moving out of lockdown, it’ll help people have something to look forward to.’

Gardening supplies were an extension to the regular appeal, thought up by staff at the Roberts Centre who wanted to encourage families to get outdoors and spend time together.

Mel Goddard, family services manager, said: ‘We have been very lucky to have Easter eggs in the past from the church and they always put a smile on children’s faces.

‘A lot of our families don’t have gardens, they might have a small porch and through the lockdown that’s all they have had.

‘If there’s something we can do to brighten it up and make it feel a bit new and exciting for them then we’re all for that.’

Stop Domestic Abuse has also been a grateful recipient of donations from St Mary’s Easter and Christmas appeals over the years.

Jo Eamey, business support and development director at the charity, said: ‘Our clients are always really grateful, they love knowing the wider community is thinking about them.

‘An Easter egg might seem quite small but a lot of our families are struggling financially so it takes the worry off their shoulders.’

Various events are set to take place at St Mary’s for Easter worship. Visit portseaparish.co.uk for more information.

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