Falkirk’s Howgate Shopping Centre collects over 1100 Christmas gifts for children

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Kind-hearted shoppers and readers of The Falkirk Herald have ensured that hundreds of children will receive a gift from Santa on Christmas Day.

The Howgate Shopping Centre has been running a toy appeal every festive season for the last 16 years.

In 2018 the number of donations was over 1100, double the number received in previous years after The Falkirk Herald helped spread the word about this worthy cause.

Margaret Foy, Howgate marketing manager, said: “As a community shopping centre we are delighted to help local children who may not otherwise receive a gift on Christmas morning.”

The presents were for youngsters aged from birth to 17 years and will now be delivered – via Santa Claus – by Falkirk Council’s social work services and other organisations to those in need.

Margaret added: “On behalf of all the staff at the Howgate Shopping Centre, I want to express our gratitude for all the donations received to our annual toy appeal.

“This year we collected 1150 gifts in total which is the most ever collected.

“This allowed us to not only support local social workers but also help teachers provide gifts for families going through a difficult time, community groups for children with additional needs and Women’s Aid.

“We are always amazed by our customers generosity and truly appreciate every gift donated.”

The appeal was only launched in mid-November and in just over four weeks the gifts, everything from footballs and dolls, to board games and jewellery, were handed in by visitors to the popular Falkirk centre.

There was a special mention for Alex and Jane Scott who have formed a small group of staff from the Redding and Bathgate branches of Tesco to collect for the appeal – something they have been doing annually providing lots of toys for children.

The Howgate staff also said a huge thank you to Arinsdale Ltd, based in West Mains Industrial Estate, Grangemouth, who last Friday arrived with £800 worth Cineworld and Pizza Hut gift cards for teenagers to enjoy a day out.