SHOPPERS in Sunderland have showcased the real spirit of Christmas, as their generosity is revealed.
Despite the challenges that many people have faced during the pandemic, it didn’t stop kind-hearted Wearsiders supporting a range of local charities.
And the result is more than £60,000 worth of cash and kind donations made via a number of campaigns run at the Bridges in the autumn and in the run-up to the festive season.
The shopping centre supported a number of good causes – all of which reported a fantastic response from people visiting Sunderland.
The annual St Benedict’s Hospice Giving Tree returned for the fifth time and, despite being in place for just two weeks instead of the usual four, raised more money than previous years.
Shoppers gave just under £7000 to support the scheme, which allows people to hang a bauble in memory of a loved one in exchange for a donation.
The Bridges’ own Christmas grotto brought in £1500 which will be used to support charitable organisations across the city, while the Sun FM Toy Appeal brought in toys worth around £40,000.
The centre also housed a stand on behalf of the British Legion which sold poppies in October and November which also raised in excess of £12,500.
Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, praised centre visitors for their bigheartedness.
“We know the people of Sunderland are always very generous but we were also mindful of what a tough time people have had in the last two years,” she said.
“So to hear from these amazing organisations that not only have they done as well as previous years but in some cases better, is fantastic and a real tribute to the kind hearted people we have in the city.
“The money they have given will make a real difference to so many worthwhile organisations and we’re very proud of the response we’ve had.”