Cafe owner's effort brings Christmas joy to families in need

Mel Benns, owner of Henry's Cafe on Church Street in Cromer. Picture: Danielle Booden

Mel Benns, owner of Henry's Coffee and Tea Store on Church Street in Cromer. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Christmas was a good deal merrier for eight families from Cromer and surrounds thanks to kindhearted donors and the hard work of Henry's Coffee and Tea Store owner Mel Benns.

Ms Benns said that rather than sending out greeting cards this year, she wanted to do something for charity, and thought of putting together dinner boxes for families who might not otherwise have been able to afford a Christmas meal with all the trimmings. 

She said: "I mentioned it to a couple of my customers and they said 'that sounds brilliant, can we sponsor you?' They pinged me £300, it was amazing."

More donations came in, and Ms Benns ended up with around £600 including £100 from herself. Using social media, she learned of eight families in need, and, thanks to a couple of extra donations from suppliers, she was able to put together boxes including personalised Christmas gifts for all of them.