A record-breaking 3,500 toys have been donated this year as part of the Giving Tree scheme in Queensgate Shopping Centre – more than double last year’s effort.
The shopping centre teamed up with children’s charity Spurgeons to ensure that all children in the Peterborough area who may not otherwise receive a gift have something to open at Christmas.
A parent who received a gift for her children said: “I have been so worried that my children would have a rubbish Christmas. Thank you so much for the gifts, they are amazing. I cannot thank you enough, I’m overwhelmed at the kindness that we as a family have been shown.”
Another parent added: “These gifts have made the world of difference to my children’s Christmas and it means the world to me that thanks to the generosity of others we can have a Christmas at this difficult time.”
Sally Chalfont, community engagement and volunteer co-ordinator for Spurgeons, said: “Wow – we are simply amazed at just how kind and generous the people of Peterborough have been.
“We hoped to beat last year’s total but doubling it is just incredible. We work with so many children in Peterborough and getting just one gift will make their Christmas special and a lot happier. We’re very pleased and thankful to everyone that has bought a present.”
The gifts that were donated have been delivered by volunteers at Spurgeons.
The Queensgate Giving Tree has been situated at the customer information desk on the upper mall since Friday, November 6.
Each tag represented a child that Spurgeons works with. It was either pink for a girl or blue for a boy, with the child’s name and age on it. Shoppers chose a tag and bought a present for that child.