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Hundreds of children enjoyed a Christmas surprise after Prospect Shopping Centre’s gift appeal proved a roaring success.

1st January 2016

IMG_0085Hundreds of children were in for a Christmas surprise after Prospect Shopping Centre’s gift appeal proved a roaring success.

Give a Prospect Gift encouraged little boys and girls to donate a Christmas present for children in the local area who are less fortunate than themselves.

As thousands of shoppers descended on the Centre each Saturday in December, on the run up to Christmas, Father Christmas and his elves were sat waiting at the West Street Entrance to spread a little festive cheer to our little shoppers.

It was completely free to meet Santa and have your picture taken with him, which could then be downloaded from the Prospect Shopping Centre website later that day, but the option was there to make a donation in the collection buckets or return with a small gift for the toy appeal box.

More than 200 families visited Give a Prospect Gift over the three weeks and after each event, shoppers were given 24 hours to vote for their favourite picture and the one with the most “LIKES” won a luxury Christmas hamper.

Lee Appleton, centre manager, said: “We were overwhelmed with people’s generosity. As well as the many gift donations, more than £300 was raised which we then used to buy even more presents.

“We wanted to ensure that as many children as possible had a smile on their face on Christmas morning. Some children may not have even had a gift to open, and if we have been able to counteract that with this, then it has been a great success.

“A big thank you must go to our shoppers and retailers for their generous donations, we can always count on them to get behind any of our charitable efforts and show support.”

The presents were collected by St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice and Mr Hoggle Doggle, a charity that re-home toys to children affected by disability, illness and deprivation and children living in care, refuges, hospitals and hospices.

Mel Brooks, project co-coordinator at Mr Hoggle Doggle, said: “We were amazed at peoples generosity and the support from Prospect Shopping Centre, it made such a difference to Hoggle. We run on zero funding and the support the Centre gave over the Christmas period really did make a difference.”

To further add to the magic, a wish list writing station was installed next to Santa’s throne, where children could write their letters to Father Christmas. Every week, one was picked at random and a child received everything on the list that they had wished for. All of the winners were extremely grateful and it was a wonderful experience for the team involved to be able to grant some early Christmas wishes.

Prior to this event, it had been noted that Santa’s World from previous years had been greatly missed by shoppers and with Give a Prospect Gift the Centre the Centre was able to re-kindle those memories and make ever-lasting new ones by giving people an opportunity to visit Santa once again on special days.

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