What's happening?

Charities give backing to first Christmas market
12 Oct 2016
by Kirsty Smallman

Charities and schools are preparing to raise funds and showcase their musical talent at the first charity Christmas market to be held at a leading county department store.

It is the first time that Alan Ward in Shrewsbury has hosted the event and has already seen a number of charities book their stalls at the event on December 3rd and 4th.

Staff are urging charities and musical groups to snap up the last few stalls and performance slots.

The charity stalls will be offering their Christmas cards, gift wrap and any other festive gifts and stocking fillers to help raise funds.

School choirs and bands and community musical groups are invited to perform throughout the two days to entertain shoppers.

Charities which have already booked include Shropshire Mind, Shropshire RCC, Age UK, German Shepherd Rescue, Shropshire Disability Network, Hope House, Shropshire Cat Rescue, Headway Shropshire, Midlands Air Ambulance and the Harry Johnson Trust.

The festive extravaganza is being held in the new ‘arena’ at Alan Ward’s

Ennerdale Road site – a flexible space that can be accessed through the store and designed to open up options to hold events at the store.

Shrewsbury store manager Andrea Cutler said: “It’s our first Christmas market here at Alan Ward but with the large flexible space we wanted to ensure the community or charities benefited from it in some way.

“We want to give charities the opportunity to promote their work and raise some money where they don’t have to pay for the stand.

“We have had a great response so far but have room for a few more charities and we want as many musicians, choirs and bands as possible.

“It will also give schoolchildren and other community groups and performers the opportunity to showcase their talent and get everyone in the festive spirit.

“The market will be held on Saturday December 3rd and Sunday December 4th and we want to hear from charities who would like the chance to sell cards and other goods at stalls set up in our flexible space.

“We also want to hear from any school bands, community bands, choirs or other performers who want to entertain at set times over the weekend.”

The Christmas market is one of many public events the store is planning in its huge flexible space, which is 5,000sq ft in size.

“The stalls will need to be run by the charity representatives throughout the weekend,” added Mrs Cutler.

“It will be a real opportunity for people to get their Christmas cards and wrapping paper, as well as gifts knowing they will be helping to raise funds for the various charities.

“Teachers of the performing schools will be welcome to invite parents of the children to the store to watch their performance.

“We would love to have a brass band perform as the last performance each day and those taking part can perform for as long or as little time as they want.”

The charity stalls will be available from 10am until 4pm each day.

Anyone wanting to book a charity stall or be part of the entertainment programme should email full details to Kirsty@jandpr.com.