Around 50 local families living below the poverty line will receive special Christmas hampers made by Gillingham Community Church in conjunction with the foodbank.

(L-R) Graham Palmer, Doug Musgrove

Members of the church, which runs the North Dorset CAP Debt Centre in partnership with national charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), have joined forces with the foodbank and filled hampers with food and other essentials to deliver across the community.

Graham Palmer (pictured, left, with Doug Musgrove) from the church, said: “We know there is a serious need among some of the people in our care. It’s tough living on a low income and many of the people we are working with have a list of other difficulties too, such as ill health, joblessness and grief.

“Christmas on a very tight budget can be a very difficult time – it’s a huge privilege to be able to lighten the load just a little.”

He added that their faith is the reason for their generosity and that giving to others is a great way to celebrate Christmas.

Hannah Gibbons, North Dorset CAP Debt Centre Manager said: “It’s great to be able to say to people that however impossible their financial situation seems, we will be able to help them to become debt free.”

She said that she and her debt centre team visit every client in their home, helping people across North Dorset and surrounds. Meanwhile, CAP’s head office negotiates with each person’s creditors and local volunteers offer support to each person until they become debt free.

Hannah said: “If you know you are already in crisis, please get in touch via our website, or by calling our freephone number 0800 328 0006. We’d love to visit and help you.”

Anyone wanting to donate to CAP’s hamper appeal can visit: