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'Fill a Rucksack'

Staff at East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) have been loading backpacks with useful goods to help vulnerable and homeless people in the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas. All the items collected have been given to the charity Access Community Trust, supporting homeless people in the area with housing, health, education and employment.

Collection points were set up across 10 ECCH sites in Suffolk and Norfolk so staff could take part in the ‘Fill a Rucksack’ campaign. They gave rucksacks and items to fill them – such as clothes, food, toiletries, torches as well as books, thermal blankets and flasks.

ECCH works with Access Community Trust at its GP surgery at the Kirkley Mill Health Centre, where ECCH runs clinics for homeless people every Wednesday afternoon.

ECCH chief executive Jonathan Williams said: “We know, from the partnership work we do with Access Community Trust at Kirkley Mill, what great work they do in supporting homeless people and we also knew our staff are always enthusiastic and generous about donating to good causes. So I’m delighted and proud that we’ve raised enough to make an impact.”

With Access Community Trust providing supported housing at five accommodation services located in Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Thetford, the charity promotes social inclusion for community benefit – by preventing people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.

Nicola Anderson, manager of Access Community Trust’s Bridge View Centre in Lowestoft, said: “The enormous generosity that we have received from ECCH staff has been invaluable.

“With this kind of support we are able to work more intensely within the community to reach those with complex and challenging needs who are sleeping rough especially in the winter months when the support is needed the most.”

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Our vision is to promote social inclusion for the community benefit by preventing people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.