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Throughout December Crowngate Shopping Centre gave its shoppers the chance to win a bespoke children’s gingerbread playhouse. To enter the raffle, all shoppers had to do was make a donation to Crowngate’s Charity partner of the Year, ONSIDE.


ONSIDE provide a wide range of services that aim to ensure fairness and equality, improve physical and mental health and wellbeing whilst giving people a voice in decisions that affect them.


The winner of the Gingerbread House, Sam Winter, in an act of remarkable kindness has donated the prize to Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham. The Gingerbread house will now be housed at Acorns in Selly Oak for families visiting the hospice to enjoy.


The raffle raised over £2,500 for ONSIDE and this vital funding will be used in the ‘ONSIDE Advocacy Access Fund’ supporting service users, and people within local communities, by way of purchasing essential items for them.


Crowngate Centre Manager, Michael Lloyd, said: “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Worcester over the festive period especially during a time when the majority of the country is facing financial hardship. Not only did we raise a significant amount of money that will be used to support people in the community, but the winner of the Gingerbread House has selflessly given this to Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham. We are incredibly proud to be a part of this community.”


Kate Harvey, CEO at ONSIDE added: “We were absolutely thrilled to be part of the ‘Crowngate Gingerbread House Christmas Raffle’ – the big prize was unbelievable and the whole project generated so many opportunities for us to not only fundraise, but also to meet some fantastic people within our local communities and it also allowed us to raise awareness of the free services that we provide and how we can help people in need.


Dee McCann, Volunteers’ Manager, at Acorns in Birmingham, who accepted winner Sam Winter’s generous donation, said: “At Acorns we’re all about bringing joy and smiles to the children and families who use our hospice, and this amazing gingerbread house will do just that.


“We’re so grateful to Sam for thinking of Acorns – we’ve found the perfect spot for the house in our beautiful gardens, where children and families will no doubt enjoy it many for years to come.”


We would like to say a big thank you to D & J Timber Limited for creating the amazing Gingerbread House, to Three Countries Christmas for their wonderful decoration of the house and of course to Mike and the team, at Crowngate Shopping Centre, for their incredible help, generosity, and support throughout the whole event! We would also like to thank everyone who donated a runner up prize for the raffle, of which there were many; all of which were donated by local businesses in and around the city of Worcester.”


Acorns Children’s Hospice has been providing specialist palliative care to life limited and life threatened children and young people, as well as support for their families for over 30 years.


The charity offers a range of care and support services both within its hospices and in family homes and relies on fundraising, the profits from its 46 charity shops and generous donations from the local community to continue.

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