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Reverse advent calendar project in Ipswich gathers nearly 600 gifts for those in need this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 17:09 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 19 December 2017

Left to right: Kat Goddard, Nigel Campbell, Sarah Barber, Emma Helyard, Suki Helyard and Lisa Stannard with gifts donated to the Ipswich reverse advent calendar appeal. Picture: NICOLE DRURY

Left to right: Kat Goddard, Nigel Campbell, Sarah Barber, Emma Helyard, Suki Helyard and Lisa Stannard with gifts donated to the Ipswich reverse advent calendar appeal. Picture: NICOLE DRURY

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A reverse advent calendar which is collecting presents for three good causes has gathered nearly 600 gifts - but there is still time to help.

Helper Suki Helyard with gifts donated to the Ipswich reverse advent calendar appeal. Picture: NICOLE DRURYHelper Suki Helyard with gifts donated to the Ipswich reverse advent calendar appeal. Picture: NICOLE DRURY

Donations have been wrapped and will be given to people who may not be receiving gifts or may be struggling this Christmas, at Ipswich Hospital, Families in Need and the Lighthouse Women’s Refuge.

Around 600 have already been donated, which will be delivered on Thursday and Friday, but gifts are still being accepted right up until Christmas.

In particular, gifts suitable for teenage boys are needed.

Lisa Stannard, operations manager for parks and cemeteries at the borough council, said: “They’re people that may not see anybody, or get anything, or because of their circumstances they’re not surrounded by their loved ones, or it could be a small child that’s not going to get anything.

Left to right: Kat Goddard, Nigel Campbell and Jo Nolan with gift donations for the Ipswich reverse advent calendar project. Picture: NICOLE DRURYLeft to right: Kat Goddard, Nigel Campbell and Jo Nolan with gift donations for the Ipswich reverse advent calendar project. Picture: NICOLE DRURY

“To me, that’s what Christmas is about, and it’s actually showing somebody that the community is supporting them, no matter how small it may be.”

Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber, whose three chosen charities are benefitting from the donations, added: “It’s just lovely the generosity of the people of Ipswich, especially as not everybody has that much at the moment, and it’s wonderful to see how caring they’ve been.”

Donations can be handed in to Holywells Park or the Reg Driver Centre in Christchurch Park.

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