A WREXHAM charity which supports disabled children and their families has received a new year boost after generous Christmas shoppers helped them raise more than £3,000.
Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre hosted an array of Christmas activities, including a free Santa’s grotto, and pledged to give all donations to Dynamic, a centre for children and young people with disabilities.
Almost 2,300 children enjoyed a trip to see Santa and many hundreds more made use of a charity gift wrapping service at Eagles Meadow, which brought the final total of funds raised to a whopping £3,141.56.
Oana Mocanasu, Marketing Manager for Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre, said she was thrilled with the amount raised for such a fantastic local charity and that the whole shopping centre team had been very touched at the community’s support and generosity.
She said: “We had some very sweet feedback from our shoppers about our Santa’s grotto and the festive atmosphere we created at Eagles Meadow. We are so pleased so many families were able to come and enjoy it with us.
“We cannot thank them enough for their kind donations to Dynamic which really did exceed the expectations we had for the amount of money we aimed to help them raise.
“They are such a fantastic and deserving local charity and being able to hand over this money at the start of the new year to them is what the festive season is all about.
“We will be looking forward to partnering up with them again in 2020.”
Amy Lynch, deputy manager of Dynamic, said the charity had been bowled over by the generosity and support from the Eagles Meadow team and the local community.
She said: “We were astounded when we counted it all up and thank everyone who supported the wonderful Santa’s grotto and festive activities at Eagles Meadow.
“I think it helped a lot that the Santa’s grotto at Eagles Meadow was so lovely and made families’ visits there so magical. There were so many people saying how lovely it was, how welcoming and kind the elves were, how much they had enjoyed visiting Santa there and how Christmasy it made them feel.
“There was a brilliant festive atmosphere and people gave so much at such a busy and costly time of year.
“It has been a heartwarming experience for the Dynamic team and our families and also gave us a valuable opportunity to let more people in the community know about what we do and how we can help.
“We are very thankful to Eagles Meadow for involving us in it all and we are looking forward to working with them again in the future.”
Dynamic was set up in 1995 and has its centre on the corner of Salisbury Road in Hightown.
The charity, which is partially funded by Wrexham Council and needs around £200,000 a year to stay open, provides out of school care and training for children aged between eight and 19, living with a range of disabilities and physical and emotional impairments.
Currently, the service supports more than 100 young people by holding six weekly after school groups, a Saturday group, activities’ during school holidays and a major summer programme to support families during the long school break.
However, the sessions are in huge demand and dozens of families remain on the waiting list.
Amy said the charity will turn to its young people to find out how best to spend the money raised at Eagles Meadow.
She added: “Now, we have the lovely task of deciding what to spend the money on and that is something we are going to consult some of our young people about, to find out what they would like and what they think the centre needs. We know they will all have some great ideas!”
Dynamic was not the only beneficiary at Eagles Meadow over the Christmas period.
The centre joined forces with major retailers M&S and Boots to collect food and toiletries from staff and customers which were donated to Wrexham Foodbank along with unused store stock.
Eagles Meadow marketing manager Oana Mocanasu came up with the idea for the collection and then approached the management team of both stores who immediately pledged their support.
Wrexham Foodbank generates, on average, around 50 food parcels a week and over the Christmas period, they organised an extra 544 Christmas food boxes so they were available to those who needed them.
Wrexham Foodbank project manager Sally Ellinson said: “We would like to thank all those involved for their support with collecting items for us. Also to the very generous Eagles Meadow shoppers who bought extra items for our collection.
“It will mean a lot to the people who have or will be receiving the items.”