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Generous worshippers help families to celebrate Easter
GENEROUS worshippers have helped to make Easter happier for vulnerable families across the area.
They donated more than 500 Easter eggs - as well as seeds and gardening equipment - to needy parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford a treat for their children this Easter. The eggs were distributed via charities who work with vulnerable families.
It's the seventh year in a row that churches across Portsmouth have been involved in such a campaign during the season of Lent. And the idea of contributing seeds and gardening equipment as well is to help families enjoy the signs of new life associated with Easter, spring and the easing of Covid restrictions.
A total of 537 Easter eggs, around £250 in cash, about 200 bags of sweets and chocolates, and piles of seeds and gardening equipment, were handed to representatives of the charities the Roberts Centre and Stop Domestic Abuse at St Mary's Church in Fratton.
Jo Eamey, business support and development director for Stop Domestic Abuse, said: "Our families always appreciate this. They love the feeling that people in the local community do care for them and want to support them. Finances are often very tight in families where domestic abuse has happened, and not having to pay for Easter eggs for a couple of children can make a real difference.
"There's also something about that sense of normality in what has been an abnormal year, in that having Easter eggs helps people to forget for a while the Covid pandemic and the abuse that they are escaping."
And Mel Goddard, family services manager for the Roberts Centre, said: "Easter eggs might seem like an inexpensive item, but if you are making the choice about providing a nourishing meal or providing a chocolate egg, then this can easily get missed out.
"We also suggested the idea of seeds and gardening equipment because a lot of the families we deal with live in tower blocks and perhaps only have a tiny porch or a window box where they can grow things. They are probably sick of their own four walls, so it's great that we can provide them with a way of growing flowers or plants that helps them to think about new beginnings and new life. It helps them to freshen up the place and think along more optimistic lines.
"We've been blown away by the quantities involved. Everyone is going through difficult times, but it's good to see that so many people still want to help others."
And Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary's Church, Fratton, which co-ordinated the appeal, said: "It has been amazing yet again to see people's generosity. It builds on the appeals that also happen at Harvest and Christmas, and it's so heartening to see people reaching out to help others who are struggling."