Our Christmas Market helpers!

We are certainly planning to go big this year with something for every taste – stalls selling food and drinks, gifts and stocking fillers, homemade crafts, raffle and tombola, not to mention Santa’s Grotto, live music and entertainment throughout the day.

But we couldn’t have planned all of this without our fantastic Fundraising volunteers! Did you know our Christmas Market this year is 90% volunteer led?

We’ve got around 40+ volunteers helping out in various ways, including 8 alone in our special Christmas Market Volunteer Committee.

The Committee has been essential in collecting, sorting and pricing donations in readiness for the market, making Christmas bunting, measuring up the site, contacting businesses and commissioning stalls. But this is certainly not an exhaustive list of what they have been doing.

Eileen and Claire Young, mother and daughter duo have been instrumental in helping to organise this year’s Christmas market, although that’s not the only string to their bow! Eileen became a volunteer in the flower and craft room in 2015 and at the same time, Claire was asked to organise a Christmas fair at Kirkharle Courtyard and chose St Oswald’s Hospice as the event charity.

Over the next few years Eileen and Claire continued to help the Hospice and volunteered at numerous events including Lantern Walks, Art Trails, and Christmas Markets.

Talking about their involvement, Claire said: “We both decided to volunteer after a family friend spent time at St Oswald’s Hospice. There is a real family feel and the staff and volunteers are great to work with. It’s very rewarding giving something back to the Hospice after all it does for the patients and their families.  

“We were both thrilled to be asked to join the Christmas Market committee earlier this year. It’s great to see this Christmas event return! This year we are planning a few changes, but all the regulars like Santa will be there!

“It will be great to see patients, their families, staff, volunteers and the public enjoying themselves whilst raising funds for the Hospice.”

With only one month to go until the return of the Christmas Market, we would like to wish good luck to our precious volunteers and thank them for their invaluable support in making the day a success for the Hospice!

Did you know? We are still very much in need of some pre-loved Christmas jumpers for our Retail stall, but anything else would also be welcome (e.g. toys, books, toiletries, gifts, stocking fillers, good quality hand-made items, bottles of alcohol).

You can bring donations directly into the Hospice or email susanmackellar@stoswaldsuk.org for more information.

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