Rochdale shoppers have helped to raise more than £3,500 for three local charities after more than 900 children visited Santa’s Grotto at the town’s shopping centre.
Throughout December, parents and their children had the chance to meet Santa and his elves at Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre, whilst showing their support for Springhill Hospice, RSPCA Rochdale and Petrus.
Lorenzo O’Reilly, Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre manager, said he was absolutely delighted to be able to donate such a fantastic amount to three incredible charities on behalf of the town’s generous shoppers. “We had a brilliant time at the centre during the Christmas period and everyone enjoyed meeting Santa and his elves at the Rochdale Exchange grotto,” he said.
“In 2015, we donated £3,400 from the grotto to Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home, so to end 2016 on a high, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to continue our support of local charities,” Lorenzo added.
In October, the centre invited shoppers to nominate an organisation to benefit from the grotto proceeds. “Visitors were asked to vote for Springhill Hospice, RSPCA Rochdale or Petrus using the token system in the centre,” he said. “Each charity received an amazing amount of votes, so much so that the grotto proceeds will be split between the three charities to ensure the Rochdale community really benefits from the money raised.
“Over the festive season, we had some amazing feedback from Rochdale families about how fantastic our grotto was, so we can’t wait to start planning for Christmas 2017,” he said. “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited the grotto and made a donation to Springhill Hospice, RSPCA Rochdale and Petrus.”
Springhill Hospice first opened in 1989 on Broad Lane in Rochdale and is a purpose-built facility offering specialist palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses. “We were so pleased to hear that Rochdale Exchange shoppers had raised so much money for the hospice,” said Lillie Winterbottom, Fundraising Manager at Springhill Hospice.
“Back in October, we saw the charity appeal on the shopping centre’s Facebook page and we were overwhelmed to see how many people were nominating us to be shortlisted,” she said. “Receiving the funds from the grotto will really benefit our patients, their families and carers, which is why we can’t thank Rochdale Exchange and the people who voted enough for their support.”
RSPCA Rochdale is a self-funded branch of the UK’s leading animal charity, which is responsible for raising money locally to support the running of its 24-hour animal centre. “To receive such a generous donation from Rochdale Exchange and its shoppers is excellent news,” said Jean Spencer, RSPCA Rochdale Animal Centre Manager.
“The funds from the shopping centre’s annual grotto will benefit RSPCA Rochdale hugely and will help continue to offer our caring facilities at the centre as well as continue to rehabilitate and re-home animals that are brought to us.”
Petrus has been working to provide supported housing and services to homeless people in the Borough of Rochdale, including Heywood, Middleton, Rossendale and Oldham, since 1972. “We are extremely thankful to Rochdale Exchange and its generous shoppers for its outstanding fundraising efforts,” said the charity’s Deputy Coordinator, Philip Foster.
“Here at Petrus, we work hard to make sure the community have access to safe, secure and quality housing, so to receive a donation from Rochdale Exchange’s grotto proceeds is brilliant,” he said. “These funds will help us to focus on our three main projects – Petrus Step Up, Petrus Housing and Petrus People – as well as the opening of our new store at Rochdale Exchange for the Petrus Worn Reborn Project.”