County Mall shoppers have helped raise more than £8,000 for local hospice, St Catherine's.
Generous shoppers got their Christmas shopping all wrapped up at St Catherine's gift wrapping station in County Mall from 16 to 24 December.
80 hospice volunteers, made up of supporters, businesses and staff, used almost 1,500 metres of wrapping paper and spent 73 and a half hours wrapping gifts in exchange for donations.
While waiting for their gifts to be wrapped, shoppers were also treated to festive performances from eight local choirs in aid of St Catherine's. Choirs included: Essendene Lodge Primary School, Songbirds Choir, the Silverbirch Singers, Shout Chorus, and Scratch Choir made up of a mix of St Catherine's staff and supporters. Students from the Dance Musical Theatre School (DMT) also did a performance. Shoppers showed their appreciation of these by adding donations to accompanying collection buckets.
Emily Bradbury and Keely Bicknell, Community Fundraisers at St Catherine's arranged the Christmas activities. They said: "We're very grateful to County Mall for their support in helping us raise funds so we can be there for local terminally ill people when life comes full circle. This year we raised more than ever before but we wouldn't have been able to do it without County Mall. We'd also like to thank Macfarlane Packaging in Horsham for donating orange tissue paper, cellotape and boxes to our gift wrapping station. As well as raising vital funds, gift wrapping allowed us to meet local people and tell them more about our work. It was lovely to hear many people's experiences of the hospice as they made use of our service and we look forward to being back at County Mall soon!"
Mark Haynes, Centre Manager at County Mall Shopping Centre said: "It's fantastic to hear our shoppers raised such a brilliant amount for our local hospice. St Catherine's do a vital job caring for local people and their family and friends so we're thrilled to support them and to give the local community chance to donate money to help them continue their valuable work."