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Acle man to become animal Santa as he delivers more than 100 packages to Hickling recuse home

PUBLISHED: 16:56 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:52 17 October 2017

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

One man’s love of animals will turn him into Santa for a day as he donates more than 100 packages to animals at a rescue centre.

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity.
Picture: Nick Butcher Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

Matthew Ward, 26, from Acle, has been collecting various gifts and toys to create Christmas Faith Rescue Hampers for FAITH Animal Rescue at Hickling.

It was after he got his own dog, Sweep, that he realised the caring nature of animals.

Mr Ward said: “As soon as I got Sweep, you see how lovely animals are. It is heartbreaking to know some are in shelters or have been mistreated.

“The homes try their best around Christmas. But you never see them opening their own gifts as there are so many animals, so I thought ‘why don’t I do it?’.”

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity.
Picture: Nick Butcher Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Ward has received a vast amount of support from businesses and vets based in Norfolk. But the biggest support has been from social media. Through the use of Facebook he has been able to share his message, receiving donations from around the world including Canada and Scotland.

Not only will Mr Ward be delivering the packages all in one go, on December 2, but he will meet each animal and help to open their package while live streaming it to Facebook.

He said: “These days everyone uses sites like Gumtree and Facebook. So what I did was make a group on Facebook and I’ll be doing a live video so everybody who has donated will actually see the items handed over by me.”

Mr Ward is creating the hampers by himself using the little free time he gets to make them.

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity.
Picture: Nick Butcher Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said: “I’m averaging around 100 to 125 hampers - mixed between dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. They have everything you can imagine in, from cat dens and posts, to dog beds, birthing mats and toys. It has shocked me the amount of support.

“It goes to show that anyone who wants to do something nice for their favourite charity can.”

In previous years Mr Ward has ran competitions on Facebook where winners received a personalised package for the top places. But this year he decided to expand the cause.

Mr Ward said: “I will deliver everything in one day. I get together with a friend who has a couple of vans and we load it all up, it’s like a proper military operation.”

Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity.
Picture: Nick Butcher Matthew Ward is collecting hampers for FAITH animal charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

To make a donation contact Mr Ward on 07713353214.

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