Shoppers spread festive cheer and showed ‘astounding generosity’ to thousands of children thanks to the Spurgeons Children’s Charity Gift Tree in Queensgate Shopping Centre.
The number of gifts donated to children aged from new-born to teenagers throughout the Christmas period came to a staggering 4,856, with each and every gift gratefully received.
“We cannot thank people enough,” said Carol Wakelin, Environmental Manager at Queensgate Shopping Centre. She added: “Each year we are astounded by the kindness shoppers in Queensgate show at Christmas and selflessness in donating a gift to someone they will never meet. These donations make a huge difference to the children Spurgeons Children Charity work with and it’s wonderful to see people of all ages wanting to get involved.”
In December, Queensgate received a heart-warming letter from eight-year-old Oliver who donated toys, but also his own very special teddy bear, he wrote:
My name is Oliver and I am 8 years old. I wanted to make your Christmas special.
I have given away few of my special toys and books, I also wanted you to have my special teddy bear. Could you please look after my teddy bear?
Enjoy your Christmas with your family and have fun. Have fun with my toys please.
Thank you for looking after my teddy bear.
Ross Hendry, Spurgeons’ Chief Executive said: “The Gift Tree is always a highlight of our year. This year, Spurgeons has worked even more closely with the cities Health Visitors, Social Workers, schools, Children’s Centres and our own Family Support Workers – ensuring all the gifts get out to the children who need them most. The need for gifts has increased year on year; and each year the generosity of the people of Peterborough means we can fulfil every request
“Our mission is to improve the lives of families and children who are struggling to cope, and to give every child the opportunity of a hope-filled life. Donations to the Gift Tree enable us to support disadvantaged children and families by giving the gift of hope at a special time of year.”
The Queensgate Gift Tree launched on Saturday November 18 and final donations were accepted on Wednesday December 20 so that Spurgeons, with the help of local delivery company APC, could ensure all gifts were wrapped and delivered to children in time for Christmas Day.
Spurgeons Children’s Charity is a national children’s charity supporting children and their families for 150 years. The charity delivered over 80 projects in the last year to find long-lasting solutions to the challenges faced by children and families: including poverty, abuse problems, offending, and other social issues.