Kind-hearted shoppers in Sunderland have made significant contributions to both local and national charitable causes, thanks to their active participation in various initiatives.

During the festive season, the Bridges orchestrated its fundraising events and generously permitted charities to conduct activities, thereby aiding in the augmentation of their funds.

And that has resulted in several organisations making much-needed money to help them continue their work.

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal once again had a presence in the centre, selling poppy pins, wristbands and a range of other items, which raised £11,600.

Christmas also saw the return of the popular St Benedict’s Hospice dedication tree, where visitors could write a message to a loved one and hang it on the tree for a small donation.

The scheme raised £6200 for the hospice, while both shoppers and stores got behind the Empire Theatre’s Belle’s Book Appeal, donating more than five sacks of books.

The Bridges partnered with Sun FM for the tenth year and supported their annual toy appeal, with a staggering 650 gifts donated which went to struggling families, while carol singing sessions added £1400 to the money raised at the centre.

Activities organised directly by the centre itself – Santa’s Grotto, the popular Lapland Adventure VR experience and Breakfast with Santa – led to a total of £17,800 being raised, which will go to support initiatives like the Red Sky Foundation as well as other worthy local causes.

Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, said the people of Sunderland had once again been extremely generous.

“It has been an incredible effort by everyone to bring in so much money which will support the good work done by a whole range of charities,” she said.

“Having new ventures at the Bridges like the VR experience gives us an additional way to make more money which will go to help out some of the very worthy local organisations.

“We are really grateful to all of our shoppers and visitors who supported all of these activities and have made a real difference.”

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