Stirling shopping centre grotto raises £5.8k for Strathcarron Hospice

The Thistles Centre in Stirling has raised almost six thousand pounds for charity through its Santa’s Grotto event as part of its #ThistlesHelps camaign.

Families from across Stirling and Forth Valley flocked to Thistles shopping centre between November and December to visit Santa in his magical Grotto, with 1,605 people attending.

The first time the seasonal event has been held in honour of a local charity, visitors to the Grotto raised a total of £5,853.50 for Strathcarron Hospice.

The latest initiative in the centres #ThistlesHelps campaign, the shopping centre opted to partner with long-term charity partner Strathcarron Hospice for the Grotto, in a bid to give back following another challenging year for the charity.

The Thistles introduced a £5 ticket charge, with all proceeds being donated directly to Strathcarron Hospice.

Gary Turnbull, centre director at Thistles, said: “We are thrilled at the response from the public to our Santa’s Grotto and that together we have raised such a fantastic amount of money for Strathcarron Hospice.  The event proved to be so popular that we had to add additional dates which meant that we were able to raise as much money as possible for charity.

“Last year we launched our #ThistlesHelps campaign, which has been our way of giving back to the local community as we all began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to bringing even more charitable initiatives to the people of Stirling over the next year and continuing to enhance the visitor experience at our centre for local shoppers and visitors to the region.”

Claire Kennedy, community fundraiser at Strathcarron Hospice, commented: “We were delighted to be the beneficiary charity of the Thistles Santa’s Grotto this year. It was a magical experience for all the children and families who visited the Grotto and every penny raised through ticket sales and purchases on the day have gone direct to patient care both in the Hospice and in people’s own homes.”

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