Freshney Place Have a Heart campaign helps Louth area children

GENEROUS shoppers bought almost 600 gifts for under privileged children through Freshney Place Shopping Centre’s Have A Heart campaign.

The charity drive, which is carried out in partnership with Louth based Home-Start East Lindsey, Women’s Aid Grimsby and the NSPCC, aims to ensure that every child in the region has a present to open on Christmas Day regardless of their circumstances.

In 2010 an impressive 500 gifts were donated by local shoppers and in 2011 this figure rose to a heart-warming 591.

Shoppers at Freshney Place were asked to embrace the season of giving, by selecting a tag from the Centre’s dedicated ‘Have a Heart’ tree during November and December and buying one extra item for a youngster who may otherwise have gone without.

Representatives from each charity then gave Father Christmas a helping hand, by distributing the gifts throughout the region just in time for December 25.

Tracey Ruddock, Scheme Manage at Home-Start East Lindsey, said: “The Have A Heart campaign really underpins the true meaning of the season and I am thrilled that it has yet again been so successful.

“Delivering the presents to the youngsters who need them, is one of the best jobs of the year. Seeing how happy the gifts make them is a Christmas present in itself! I’d like to thank everyone involved in this wonderful campaign.”

Freshney Place Centre Director, Amanda Austin commented: “It is fantastic to see that the 2011 Have a Heart campaign has beaten last year’s total! This is all down to our wonderful shoppers who have proved yet again that the spirit of Christmas is ever prevalent in our region.

“We were hoping to match last year’s total so to exceed this by almost 100 means that 100 more children had a smile on their face on Christmas morning – which is what Have A Heart is all about. An enormous thank you to all who donated.”