We’re launching our charity Christmas wishing tree during our late night opening evening on Thursday, November 2 from 6pm until 8pm.
Customers will be able to write their wishes on a cardboard star in return for a charitable donation to The Silver Line.
The Silver Line is our chosen Charity of the Year and this year we have decided to launch a Christmas wishing tree to help raise money for it. Customers will be invited to write their wishes on a card star, which we will provide, and tie these to our tree in return for a donation to the charity.
The first chance for people to start hanging their wishes on the tree will be during our late night festive shopping evening on November 2.
Representatives from The Silver Line will be in attendance to chat to our customers about the amazing work it does with lonely and isolated older people, including its phone and befriending services. We will have collection tins in-store and donations from our Christmas wishes campaign will simply be added to the money collected in these boxes.
We hope lots of people come along to pop their wishes on the tree and we also hope all of them come true! Customers will be able to make their wishes until Christmas Eve, December 24 and we will donate all of the money raised to the charity in 2018.
As well as having the opportunity to do their bit for charity, people will also be able to browse the shop out of normal opening hours and do a spot of Christmas shopping from the wonderful festive ranges from our shop owners. There will also be a free glass of mulled wine on arrival.
The Silver Line operates the only national, free, confidential helpline for lonely and isolated older people, open every day and night of the year, as well as volunteer-led telephone and letters friendship schemes.
Since launching in November 2013, the helpline has received more than 1.5 million calls and demand for the service keeps growing. It currently receives more than 10,000 calls a week – around one every minute, and more than 68% of calls are made during the night or at weekends when other services are shut. Ninety percent of callers live alone and more than half of them speak to no one else, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.
Dame Esther Rantzen, The Silver Line’s Founder and President, said: “Last Christmas the overwhelming surge in daily call volumes to the helpline, which exceeded our most generous projections, left us unable to answer around a third of calls made between December 24 and January 2. Heartbreakingly, this meant more than 5,000 callers were left entirely on their own when they desperately needed someone to talk to, at a time when most of the nation spends enjoying the company of friends and family.
“As demand for our services continues to grow, all the signs are that, sadly, Christmas 2017 promises to be yet another record for us, but in order to cope with the anticipated spike in call volumes, and avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario, we urgently need donations to cover our rising running costs.
“As a charity, we rely entirely on voluntary donations to keep going. I want to take this opportunity to thank The Emporium Somerset for making us their Charity of the Year and, along with all their shoppers, supporting our fundraising efforts – thereby helping us support those who need us most. And of course we hope you all enjoy what promises to be a wonderfully festive evening!”