‘Tis the season of goodwill, and once again, the residents of Swansea have some out in hoards to show their support for our charitable causes!
This year, we were thrilled to welcome the Mr X Giving Tree back to the centre again. The campaign, now in its 58th year, is well-known and much-loved throughout South Wales. Until recently, it was run anonymously by founder Tom Bravin, whose identity was revealed when he sadly passed away last year. In true dedication to the cause, Tom set up a small team five years ago, who continue to carry out the appeal in his memory. A spokesperson for Mr X noted that he “received an MBE from the Queen in 1994 and he always stated that he collected it on behalf of the people of South Wales”. His community spirit never faltered, and a huge 700 gifts were collected for local children this Christmas, cementing Tom’s legacy as the secret Santa of Swansea.
We also teamed up with a local at-home care company, Home Instead Senior Care, and launched an initiative which gave Swansea residents the opportunity to ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ this Christmas. From Thursday 29th – Friday 30th November, locals were encouraged to visit the tree display at Quadrant, which was decorated with tags that showed the name of an elderly person living nearby, or an organisation that would benefit from a gift donation. Presents bought by the public were then left under the tree, before Home Instead staff and volunteers wrapped and delivered these gifts to their destination- the homes of people who may not otherwise have received a gift this year.
Due to factors like bereavement, retirement and being housebound, loneliness amongst the elderly is very common in the UK, but as Home Instead owner Ben Ruddle says, this campaign enabled us to reach out to older people who “would really appreciate knowing that local people are thinking about them Christmas.”
The local community has been incredibly generous in donating to both of these causes, and helping these campaigns to be such a success. A very Merry Christmas from all of us at Quadrant Shopping Centre!