The Queensgate Gift Tree, in partnership with Spurgeons Children’s Charity, is returning to the centre this year to ensure children across Peterborough receive a gift this Christmas.
The Gift Tree, which invites shoppers to donate a present to a child that wouldn’t normally have a Christmas, receives thousands of donations each year and “every single present is warmly received,” says Ross Hendry, CEO of Spurgeons Children’s Charity.
He added: “The level of support which we have received in the last four years from the Queensgate Gift Tree is amazing and invaluable.
“Around a quarter of children in Peterborough are living in poverty. This Christmas many of them won’t even have presents or even a warm winter coat. Your generous gifts will make a huge difference to thousands of families at this time of the year.”
The Queensgate Gift Tree will be located at the Customer Information Desk (outside John Lewis) and, as with previous years, shoppers can choose a tag with a child’s name, age and gender and donate an unwrapped present.
The Queensgate Gift Tree launches on Saturday, November 18 and final donations will be accepted on Wednesday, December 20 so that Spurgeons and, with the help of local delivery company APC, and of cause Santa himself, can ensure all gifts are beautifully wrapped and delivered to children by in time for Christmas Day.
The gifts are greatly received by many families, some of whom wrote lovely thank you letters to Spurgeons, explaining their joy of the gift.
One parent said: “Thank you so much for the toys and clothes, they will love them.”
A family support worker from Spurgeons said: “One mum cried when we delivered the gifts and said that this year was going to be the first proper Christmas that her son (7) has ever had.
“Usually Christmas just passes or they are reliant on local churches for a Christmas meal and there are never any presents. She was very overwhelmed by Spurgeons generosity and kindness.”
Carezone said: “A huge thank you to you and your donors for the toys. They were delivered to the family yesterday and the mum burst into tears when she saw them.
“She is a single parent and receiving the toys has removed a big burden from her this Christmas. She is very grateful for this. Please pass on our gratitude to your team and the donors.”
Carol Wakelin, environmental manager at Queensgate Shopping Centre, said: “Christmas is a magical time of year but it can also be an extremely difficult time for some families.
“I am so pleased that we can support the Gift Tree for the fifth year in a row, as it is a fantastic way of ensuring those families in need get Christmas too this year.
“I am immensely proud of our shoppers and our staff who year on year donate beautiful gifts which surpass all expectations. Thank you for all those who have donated in the past and to those who are planning on donating this year, we could not do it without you.”
Spurgeons Children’s Charity is a national children’s charity supporting children and their families for 150 years.
The charity delivered more than 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.