The Kinder Shop Returned To Help Charities This Festive Time

Shoppers didn’t need to worry about cash when buying Christmas gifts in Carlisle they were able to pay for toys, decorations and luxury items with just a little bit of kindness.

The Kinder Shop returned to Carlisle for one day and was packed full of furnishings and Christmas treats which could be taken away for free in return for promising to volunteer some time with up to three children’s charities.

Shoppers pledged hundreds of hours during the day in return for suitcases, fire pits, Christmas trees, tricycles and cushions.

The project will provide a huge boost to three charities who help children, Carlisle Youth Zone, Jigsaw Children’s Hospice and Scouts Cumbria.

It is funded by The Cumberland as part of its commitment to Kinder Banking and proved to be a huge hit with Carlisle shoppers yesterday who visited the shop on Paternoster Row.

Among them was Paul Atkinson, of Carlisle, who ‘bought’ a Christmas tree, ornamental sleigh and plants in return for pledging 60 hours to help at the Jigsaw children’s hospice.

“I think the Kinder Shop is an amazing idea,” he said, adding: “I’m looking forward to helping at Jigsaw with whatever they need, whether that’s decorating or gardening.

“It’s a brilliant way to give something back.”

And pupils from St Cuthbert’s Catholic School visited the Kinder Shop with headteacher Sarah Hutchinson who said: “We will split our time to help the three charities and the children are very excited to be involved as well as get a new clock for the year six classroom.”

Law student Phoebe Wright and business owner Muir Smith will be helping Carlisle Youth Zone with painting and decorating to pay for the Christmas gonk and blankets they took home.

“This is such a good idea, I love it,” said Phoebe.

Julie Clayton, chief executive of Eden Valley Hospice, said the Kinder Shop will make a huge difference to the charities involved.

She said: “The hospice is part of our community and founded by our community and we have volunteers who bring their skills and work in every part of our organization. 

“Volunteers at Jigsaw will be able to get involved in a range of activities.

“We’ve had teams planting bulbs in our garden so it will look fabulous in the spring, we have lots of craft projects, all sorts of things where people can bring their skills and add to what we are able to offer to young people.”

Kelly Ashbridge, partnerships officer at The Cumberland, said: “It has been wonderful to bring the Kinder Shop back for Christmas.

“Today has been such a contrast to all the hype around Black Friday last week.

“It has been about giving as much as receiving and we’ve had an amazing range of people who wanted to support The Cumberland’s Kinder Shop.

“Showing some kindness to these charities which do so much to help young people in our community.

“It feels like this is what Christmas should be about.”

In June this year, The Kinder Shop popped up in Carlisle, Dumfries and Kendal and generated more than 1,000 volunteer hours for good causes in the area, and this time they’re hoping to do even better.