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Businesses dig deep to make Christmas special

Almost £1,000 has been raised by North Tyneside businesses to help make sure Christmas is special for everyone.

The fundraising efforts of 160 local business representatives will go towards providing a lunch for those who may find themselves alone on Christmas Day.

At the annual North Tyneside Business Awards, organised by North Tyneside Business Forum, attendees generously donated to the ‘Make Christmas Special’ campaign.

The campaign, run by Social Connections NE CIC, coordinates five free festive lunches on December 25 at different venues around North Tyneside.

Anyone who would like to spend Christmas Day with others is welcome to go along, although booking is essential to ensure a place is provided.

This is the fourth year for Make Christmas Special and over 250 people attended last year, supported by 50 volunteers.

Speaking about the fundraising, North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: “I would like to thank each and every person who has donated to this hugely important and selfless initiative.

“No one should be alone or feel isolated at Christmas – and this campaign makes a big difference to many people, by bringing them together to share Christmas Day with others.

“The volunteers who organise the events are always looking for others to help and I’d encourage anyone who is able give their time to get in touch with them.”

Commenting on the evening David Bavaird, Chair of the North Tyneside Business Forum said: “The North Tyneside Business Awards is a real opportunity to celebrate the achievement of so many North Tyneside businesses and I am delighted that guests at the awards were able to support the ‘Make Christmas Special’ project. I know for certain that many businesses are looking at how else they can support the project in the future.”

Pam McArdle, a director at Social Connections NE, added: “I am overwhelmed by the support and generosity of people in North Tyneside and beyond and would like to thank David and the Business Forum for supporting Make Christmas Special.  These events are open to all who would like to spend Christmas Day with others in their community.  Feedback from people who have attended in previous years is truly heart-warming and we know how much Make Christmas Special means to them.”

People can support the campaign by joining in on the day, volunteering, donating a gift, or sponsoring a lunch for £10. 

For more details, email socialconnectionsnortheast@gmail.com or call 07342 800269.

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