Readers of a Norfolk weekly have donated thousands of pounds to help victims of the biggest fire in a town’s history.
The Fakenham and Wells Times, together with sister title the Eastern daily Press, launched the ‘Lets Fight for Fakenham’ campaign following the blaze in May.
The appeal aimed to help those who lost homes and businesses and the response was so great that, after all applications for funding were dealt with, a staggering £10,000 was left over.
This has now been divided up between three local charities with EP Youth, who were forced to move from their project building in Upper Market Place after the fire, receiving £4,000 and First Focus and The Wensum Centre £3,000 apiece.
“We think this county is such a special place, not just because of the way communities respond in the time of need, but also because here are so many great projects going on here like the ones being run by these three great charities.”
The campaign was run by the EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times in partnership with North Norfolk District Council and the Norfolk Community Foundation.
A presentation was held at Gallery Bistro, Fakenham, metres from where the fire took place.
Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “What happened was a disaster for Fakenham in many ways but good has come out of it and it has brought the community together.
“The people who were directly affected by the fire, including small businesses and those who lost their homes, have all been helped by the funds raised by the EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times readers.
“The racecourse, supermarkets, other businesses and many individuals have rallied around and the campaign has been such a success that we are able to give thousands of pounds to three really good causes and this will have direct benefit to the people of Fakenham.”
He added: “This shows that the EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times are really community-oriented newspapers that help and support people in need.”