The Queensgate Shopping Centre’s Gift Tree proved a huge success and saw hundreds of presents donated to young families across the city.

An astonishing 1,647 gifts were donated by charitable shoppers within the space of six weeks, including an incredible donation of a brand new Xbox One 3D console and game.

From early November, The Queensgate Gift Tree invited shoppers to take a tag featuring a child’s name and age from the tree and return it with an unwrapped gift for the child to the customer information desk. Local charity Spurgeons then wrapped each gift and delivered them in time to make a child’s Christmas Day.

Sam Eastwood, Centre Director at Queensgate Shopping Centre, felt humbled by the good will of Peterborough and said: “The response from the local community and shoppers has been awe-inspiring. Thanks to the kind-hearted people of Peterborough, young families and children in need had something to smile about this Christmas and we’re extremely proud to be a part of that.”

Sally Chalfont, Community Engagement and Volunteer Co-ordinator for Spurgeons, said: “We have been stunned by the kindness of shoppers at Queensgate. To receive more than 1,500 presents was beyond our wildest dreams and made Christmas a very special one for some of the families we work with who might not be able to give their children presents otherwise.

“On receiving the gifts, one parent said ‘we will have a Christmas this year’, with some families reduced to tears at the kind gesture of receiving presents for their children. This has been such a wonderful project to be involved with and everyone at Spurgeons is very grateful to Queensgate for the opportunity to take part.”

Spurgeons kindly shared any remaining toys with other local charities in Peterborough including EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices). Spurgeons is a national children’s charity supporting children and their families for almost 150 years. Spurgeons delivers around 100 services across the Country, including children’s centres and projects to support young carers, teenage parents, and children and young people.

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