Worldwide viral hit The Giving Tree returns to Hartlepool for Christmas

Shoppers in Hartlepool are being invited to make Christmas special for those in need.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 10:15 am

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre’s online giving tree is returning for a second time – following last year’s success which saw generous people in the town – and all over the world – donate over 170,000 gifts which were distributed among local charities.

The centre organises the annual event but last year – due to Covid-19 – the campaign was moved with donors being able to choose a tag and purchase a gift through the Giving Tree website, which they would then post to Middleton Grange.

Staff would then festively wrap the gift and send it to those in need for Christmas Day.

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Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager Mark Rycraft with the Christmas Giving Tree appeal. Picture by FRANK REID

Mark Rycraft, centre manager at Middleton Grange, said: “Due to the overwhelming success last year, this Christmas we have decided to combine it with Middleton Grange’s traditional tree which is based physically in the centre.

"The two trees will allow us to continue to work together with the Giving Tree campaign to provide for those less fortunate than us.

“Those wanting to donate can select a tag from the tree located on the first floor, which includes the gender and age of individuals needing a gift and presents can then be taken wrapped or unwrapped to the drop off point.”

Beth Newton, a designer at In Studio, said “Last year we were incredibly honoured to have been asked by Mark to design and develop the digital Hartlepool Giving Tree and were stunned by the generosity and kindness of the people in the town and around the world.

Christine Fewster, from Hartlepool Carers.

“We hope that everyone gets behind the appeal this year.”

Christine Fewster, chief executive at Hartlepool Carers, commented; “Last year the Giving Tree enabled us to help so many vulnerable carers across Hartlepool.

“The generosity of people was amazing and we are hoping that people can get behind the appeal again to make that difference at Christmas time.”

Joanne Horner, from domestic abuse charity Harbour, said: “Many of those we are supporting will struggle to have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

"But the Giving Tree campaign will hopefully mean no child is without a gift."

For details on how to be involved, go to www.hartlepoolgivingtree.co.uk.

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