Bluewater shoppers donate presents to disadvantaged children

PUBLISHED: 12:31 30 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 30 December 2014

(c) Max Oppenheim

The charity campaign helped thousands.

The Giving Tree campaign at Bluewater saw more than 10,000 presents gifted to disadvantaged children by shoppers.

The charity campaign, in association with Heart FM, ran for six weeks at Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Visitors were encouraged to pick a gift tag from the tree and buy a gift for someone they may never meet.

As well as Bluewater shoppers celebrities including Heston Blumenthal, Zoe ‘Zoella’ Sugg and X Factor hopefuls Only The Young also donated items.

Seventeen charities including the Demelza Hospice, The Royal British Legion, The Rocking Horse Children’s Centre and Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice performed the role of Santa by delivering the packages to the children in time to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Bluewater general manager, Robert Goodman, said: “We are over-whelmed by the donations and the extreme generosity that Bluewater visitors have shown over the past six weeks to The Giving Tree.

“We never expected to see so many gifts donated. To think that thanks to our warm-hearted guests over 10,000 disadvantaged children will receive a fantastic extra present this year is amazing.

“It’s not only visitors, we’ve also seen retailers, local schools and even celebrities visiting Bluewater getting involved.

“We are very proud to be part of this truly remarkable initiative. It’s fantastic to see what can be achieved when the community comes together in unison to support charitable causes.”

Jane Ayers, community fundraiser for The Royal British Legion, said: “I am astonished at the success of the Tree, not just because of the overwhelming number of gifts but also the quality and cost of them.”

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