One of the lions outside City Hall was turned into a giant Christmas present and unwrapped by an 8ft tall goat and the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich on Monday 21 November.
Lord Mayor Councillor Lay and Sheriff Chris Higgins met Oxfam’s Archie the Goat, who is visiting the city as part of a nationwide tour to unveil the top 10 most generous places in the UK.
According to Oxfam, Norwich has spent almost £400,000 on buying life-changing gifts for people in need across the world in the last eight years. This money has, amongst other things, paid for safe drinking water for thousands of people, fed families worldwide, trained teachers and educated children.
The Lord Mayor said: “To know that Norwich is one of the most generous towns in the whole of the UK is a wonderful early Christmas gift and I’m extremely proud that we have topped Oxfam’s poll.
“Actually it doesn’t surprise me, given what I know about our residents and businesses and how many hundreds of them are involved in supporting charities, whether as part of their local community effort, or as global citizens. But at a time of economic hardship, it is even more humbling to know how committed we are as a city, to helping others less fortunate than ourselves.”
Oxfam Unwrapped is the largest range of charity gifts on the market, and this year marks its eighth anniversary. The money raised through the gifts, which range from goats and farmyards to teachers and health workers, goes towards Oxfam’s programme work in communities living in poverty around the world. The purchaser receives a card to pass on to the recipient of the gift who can then go online to learn about the big difference their gift has made.
Ewan Davidson, deputy manager of the Norwich Oxfam shop in Magdalen Street, added: “It’s wonderful to know that Norwich is so behind our efforts to give people across the world the resources and skills to help their family and community overcome poverty. Christmas is the time of year to give and with Unwrapped you can be safe in the knowledge that every single penny counts. It’s inspiring to know that despite the UK’s own difficulties, people in Norwich continue to put their hands in their pockets to support the global community.”
With gifts on offer for everyone, from parents to children, bookworms to foodies, gardeners to DIY enthusiasts, animal lovers to eco-warriors, Oxfam Unwrapped has the perfect Christmas gift for everyone this year; the gift of giving. For more details, visit www.oxfamunwrapped.com
Over the next two weeks the Oxfam Unwrapped mascot, Archie the Goat, will be doing a whistle stop tour of the UK visiting the ten most generous towns and cities. The other cities and towns to make the top ten are: Oxford, Cambridge, Leamington Spa, Inverness, Reading, Bristol, York, Edinburgh and Nottingham.