A SHOP in Wellington will be launching a charity Christmas wishing tree at its annual late night shopping evening next month (November, 2017).
The Emporium Somerset on Mantle Street is inviting people to write their wishes on a cardboard star in return for a charitable donation to The Silver Line during its event on November 2.
Cato Cooper, Co-owner of The Emporium Somerset, which includes more than 50 different shops across three floors, selling thousands of home and gift items, explained: “The Silver Line is our chosen Charity of the Year and this year we have decided to launch a Christmas wishing tree to help raise money for it. Customers will be invited to write their wishes on a card star, which we will provide, and tie these to our tree in return for a donation to the charity.
“The first chance for people to start hanging their wishes on the tree will be during our late night festive shopping evening on Thursday, November 2 from 6pm until 8pm.
“Representatives from The Silver Line will be in attendance to chat to our customers about the amazing work it does with lonely and isolated older people, including its phone and befriending services. We will have collection tins in-store and donations from our Christmas wishes campaign will simply be added to the money collected in these boxes.
“We hope lots of people come along to pop their wishes on the tree and we also hope all of them come true! Customers will be able to make their wishes until Christmas Eve, December 24 and we will donate all of the money raised to the charity in 2018.
“As well as having the opportunity to do their bit for charity, people will also be able to browse the shop out of normal opening hours and do a spot of Christmas shopping from the wonderful festive ranges from our shop owners. There will also be a free glass of mulled wine on arrival.”
The Silver Line operates the only national, free, confidential helpline for lonely and isolated older people, open every day and night of the year, as well as volunteer-led telephone and letters friendship schemes.
Since launching in November 2013, the helpline has received more than 1.5 million calls and demand for the service keeps growing. It currently receives more than 10,000 calls a week – around one every minute, and more than 68% of calls are made during the night or at weekends when other services are shut. Ninety percent of callers live alone and more than half of them speak to no one else, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.
Dame Esther Rantzen, The Silver Line’s Founder and President, said: “Last Christmas the overwhelming surge in daily call volumes to the helpline, which exceeded our most generous projections, left us unable to answer around a third of calls made between December 24 and January 2. Heartbreakingly, this meant more than 5,000 callers were left entirely on their own when they desperately needed someone to talk to, at a time when most of the nation spends enjoying the company of friends and family.
“As demand for our services continues to grow, all the signs are that, sadly, Christmas 2017 promises to be yet another record for us, but in order to cope with the anticipated spike in call volumes, and avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario, we urgently need donations to cover our rising running costs.
“As a charity, we rely entirely on voluntary donations to keep going. I want to take this opportunity to thank The Emporium Somerset for making us their Charity of the Year and, along with all their shoppers, supporting our fundraising efforts – thereby helping us support those who need us most. And of course we hope you all enjoy what promises to be a wonderfully festive evening!”
The Emporium Somerset is home to more than 50 shopkeepers selling thousands of homeware, garden and gift items.
Housed in a Victorian chapel, it stocks cards, home accessories, furniture, home and garden wares, knick-knacks, plants, fresh flowers and a small selection of children’s toys.
Cato added: “Our store is fresh, vibrant, light and airy with lots of inspirational, contemporary items, as well as traditional and vintage ones.
“Most of our shopkeepers’ products are either handmade here in the Westcountry, sourced from other British craftspeople and makers, or from ethical and Fairtrade companies. So, there are plenty of unusual items here for people to have a look at and they are reasonably priced too. By buying from us, shoppers are supporting the very backbone of the nation’s economy – small, independent, local businesses.”
As well as running the store, Cato also specialises in restoring furniture and runs a paint and home accessories studio and workshop in-store.
People will be able to pop their wishes on The Emporium Somerset’s Christmas wishing tree and take part in some late night Christmas shopping on Thursday, November 2 from 6pm until 8pm.
For further details, please call The Emporium Somerset on 01823 660076, email email@example.com or visit www.theemporiumsomerset.co.uk.
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