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Christmas Tree Project to ‘bear’ gifts to Neptune Ward

16 November 2016


A spectacular 22 foot tall tree, adorned with over 1200 soft toys has arrived in The Victoria Shopping Centre, which is part of The Christmas Tree Project that the shopping centre is running with The Cliffs Pavilion Theatre.

The soft toys decorating the tree are themed on the Cliffs' Christmas Pantomime, 'Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates', and these toys will be distributed to a collection of organisations in early January.

The organisations to benefit include Southend Hospital's Neptune Ward, Little Havens Hospice in Benfleet and the Children's Society. The toys will be distributed to these organisations by costumed characters.

Southend Hospital's Neptune Ward is the main children's unit for Southend inpatients, caring for children aged up to 16 years old. The unit cares for around 3000 children every year and the charity exists to improve patient care.

Elise Fleetwood, Event Manager at Southend Hospital Charity, said: "It's amazing to be part of such a project and it really helps raise the profile of our children's ward, which does such a lot of great work for local children who are poorly. Being in hospital as a child is never easy, even more so at Christmas and over the New Year. This appeal and the bears will really help give them a boost."

'Donation Stations' will also be placed at The Victoria and at the Cliffs Pavilion with the tagline 'Show you care with a Bear' so that the public can donate brand new cuddly toys.  Westerings Primary Academy are also supporting the project and will be inviting their pupils to donate toys at their 'Donation Station' at the school.