The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead has presented it’s chosen charity for 2022, DENS, with a cheque for £3,874.42 after the success of their Magical Christmas Experience.
The grotto, which ran for six weekends and the full week leading up to Christmas, was based at The Marlowes and themed around a magical post office, where children could learn what it takes to be a North Pole elf. The grotto was complete with letter sorting, finding out the children’s elf names and more, and finished with a meet and greet with Father Christmas himself.
Due to the rising cost of living, The Marlowes kept this experience as a free activity for families to enjoy, ensuring that nobody would have to miss out at Christmas time. Instead optional donations were encouraged to support chosen charity DENS, an organisation that prides itself on being the first port of call for people in Hemel Hempstead who are facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion.
Charlotte McCarthy and Chris Kelly, representatives from the charity, were presented with a giant cheque for the total sum of £3,874.42, raised by the general public. The funds raised will be invaluable in providing the homeless population with the support and resources they require – with £20 providing a three-day food parcel for an individual facing food poverty and £150 paying for a series of six counselling sessions for someone struggling with counselling or mental health issues.
Wendy Lewington, the CEO of DENS commented, ‘We are so grateful for The Marlowes, who have continually shown fantastic support for DENS as their Charity of the Year. Their amazing fundraising efforts this Christmas will make a big difference to local people facing crisis, especially during these challenging winter months when demand for our services has been at a record high.’
Humphrey Mwanza, Centre Manager at The Marlowes Shopping Centre, commented: ‘We are so thrilled to present DENS with this amazing cheque as a result of our generous visitors to the Magical Christmas Experience. This has been the cherry on top of a fantastic 2022 for us, and we know that the money donated to this brilliant charity will make sure a difference to the most vulnerable in our community. Thank you so much to everyone who came along, and who donated to the cause.’