Charities across Shropshire are being given the chance to showcase their goods and raise vital cash 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 the company is now calling on charities to get in touch and book a stall to sell their Christmas cards and other items.
Staff at the largest independent furniture store in the county are also keen to hear from schools, colleges, choirs, bands and community groups who would be interested in performing at the market to entertain shoppers in December.
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.
“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 from Thursday December 1 to Sunday December 4 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, who has recently taken over the helm at the Shrewsbury store.
“Alan Ward will also be offering the chance for the charities to put promotional material into Alan Ward goody bags which will be given to everyone who attends throughout the weekend.
“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 tens of thousands of pounds 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 and also other schoolchildren from the school as a school trip.
“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 8pm on the Thursday as it is late night shopping at the store and musical performances are planned at 11am, 2pm and 6pm that day.
It is hoped musical performances will be held on the Friday at 11am, 2pm and 4pm and Saturday and Sunday at 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
Anyone wanting to book a stall or be part of the entertainment programme should email full details and prefered day and time to perform to Kirsty@jandpr.com.