Centre 81 charity inundated with puzzles after appeal

Wendy Phelps is donating a large part of her huge puzzle collection to a local charity Centre 81 aft

Wendy Phelps is donating a large part of her huge puzzle collection to a local charity Centre 81 after an appeal in the Great Yarmouth Mercury.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

As her hobby for completing and collecting puzzles grew, the loft in Wendy Phelp’s got fuller and fuller.

She did not know what to do with the vast array of puzzles piling up in her attic.

It was after she read an article in the Great Yarmouth Mercury that a solution slotted into place.

Great Yarmouth-based Centre 81, a charity which helps people with disabilities, made an appeal through the Mercury and its sister paper, The Advertiser, for more puzzles.

Centre 81 members enjoyed completing jigsaws, but were quickly exhausting their supply and finishing off the 1000-piece puzzles in under two days.

When the article appeared in the Mercury and on its website the charity was inundated with donations of puzzles, and to date they have received over 750 from members of the public.

Mrs Phelps, an avid puzzle collector, donated a large chunk of her 300-strong collection kept at home in Westerley Way, Caister.

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Mrs Phelps, who has been collecting puzzles for years, said: “Every time I went to a car boot sale I would buy some.

“The man at the market knows me quite well now. I would buy four or five at a time there.

“Anytime I went somewhere new I would look for more jigsaws in the shops.”

Mrs Phelps decided to donate dozens of her jigsaws, largely consisting of animal designs, to help the charity.

Centre 81 trustee Steve Scott said: “The response to the initial story in the Yarmouth Mercury has been absolutely remarkable and readers have been so generous, not only in making the donations but also in taking the time and trouble to get puzzles to us. They’ve been turning up with their car boots completely full.”

“We would like to say a big thank you to the Mercury and all those readers who have responded so magnificently to our appeal. We’ve now run out of room so I’m afraid we won’t be able to accept any more jigsaws and would urge people to take them to local charity shops.”

If the man who called at Centre 81 last week armed with 40-plus jigsaws still has them, the Centre would love to accept. Diana Staines, chief executive, said: “He was wrongly told we had enough jigsaws. “If you saw the rate which our members got through them you’d realise that we can never have enough jigsaws. So if this kind gentleman still has his puzzles we would very much like to accept them.”