Generous Hartlepool shoppers in giving mood

GIVING TREE: Nicky Coulton and Becky Forster from The Harbour and Suzanne Chaney from Middletion Grange.
GIVING TREE: Nicky Coulton and Becky Forster from The Harbour and Suzanne Chaney from Middletion Grange.

CHILDREN living in difficult circumstances will have some presents to unwrap this Christmas thanks to generous shoppers.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool is supporting Harbour Women’s Refuge by having a Giving Tree to make sure disadvantaged youngsters do not miss out.

It is the sixth successive year the centre has organised the gift-giving drive for Harbour.

Children who are supported by the charity write what present they would like most on a small tag which is put on the tree in the mall.

The tags helpfully state the age and whether the recipient is a boy or girl to make sure they get something they really wish for.

Customers are encouraged to pick one and buy the present for that child, before wrapping it up and leaving it at the shopping centre’s information desk.

Around 50 gifts have already been donated since the scheme launched last week.

It means Middleton Grange is on target to collect a sackful of presents in time for Christmas Day.

Suzanne Chaney, from the shopping centre, said: “There are a lot of children who are in difficult family circumstances who through no fault of their own might not get any gifts.

“This is the sixth year we have worked with Harbour on the Giving Tree and we usually collect between 100 and 150 presents.

“And over the years our customers must have given children more than 500 presents, so a big thank you must go to all our customers.

“It is great to see how generous they are every year. It is easy for people to think ‘I’ve done all my Christmas shopping’, but a lot of children don’t get anything, so we are pleased to support schemes such as the Giving Tree.”

Harbour staff will collect presents once a week from now until Christmas Eve.