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Local charities get cash boost from generous shoppers at the Belfry Shopping Centre

Local charities have received a very welcome cash windfall this New Year from generous shoppers at the Belfry Shopping Centre in Redhill.

During Christmas, families visiting Santa’s free Grotto at the Centre were invited to make a charity donation. A total of £1,400 was raised and shared between two Redhill charities, Stripey Stork and Home-Start East Surrey, both of whom give support to local families.

Stripey Stork’s Founder & Chair of Trustees, Nicola Dawes, said: “Stripey Stork are very grateful for all the support we have had from the Belfry and their shoppers over the Christmas period. We support local families all year round and will respond to requests for help in 2018. This donation will make a big difference to the service we can offer.”

Debbie Wade, Scheme Manager at Home-Start East Surrey, said, “We are delighted to have received £700. We are about to embark on a new project helping mothers suffering with Post Natal Depression. Our first group will be at Reigate Park Church on Monday afternoons where there is also a friendly toddler group mothers can go on to join. Our new training course for home-visiting volunteers at Reigate Park Church will run every Tuesday from 6th March. If interested, please call our office on 01737 770220.”

Centre Manager Andy Nash said, “Santa’s Grotto at the Belfry has been free to visit for several years, helping to make Christmas a magical, inclusive, experience for thousands of children in the area. We are always delighted with the generous charity donations made by our customers.”

He added, “The amazing Redhill community also helped the Belfry to raise many more thousands of pounds over the festive period for a number of other local charities, including £1,000 at our annual Carols in The Belfry for The Mayor’s Charities, Reigate & Redhill MHA Live at Home Scheme and the oldest armed forces charity, SSAFA Surrey (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Families Association), and Sparkfish.

“The Renewed Hope Trust (East Surrey Winter Night Shelter) asked shoppers to add an item or two to their shopping. Donations of tins and other goods filled numerous trolleys along with £420 in cash which all went towards helping local homeless people.

“Throughout December, the Belfry also offered a Christmas Gift Wrapping service, for a donation. A dozen local charities provided the gift-wrapping: Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead – Festive Feast, Stripey Stork, Jigsaw, Royal British Legion, The Children’s Trust, Age Concern, St. Catherine’s Hospice, Merstham Hub, East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service, Active Prospects and Girl Guiding Surrey East. All these charities collected many more hundreds of pounds in generous donations. 

“A further £311 for Children in Need was raised directly by our fantastic staff here at the Centre, riding scooters and wearing Christmas jumpers.  I’m delighted by the amazing goodwill and generosity of our local community and am proud that the Belfry is at the heart of our Redhill community. I’m looking forward to see what more we can do in 2018.”