Topsy-turvy tree for Christmas gifts

WHICH WAY UP?: Elizabeth Jackson (left), Helena Grimshaw and Richard Standring decorate the upside-down tree.
WHICH WAY UP?: Elizabeth Jackson (left), Helena Grimshaw and Richard Standring decorate the upside-down tree.

DON’T worry, you’re not seeing things... this Christmas tree really is upside down.

It’s an eye-catching way to promote a “Be a Santa” charity project, and visitors are being asked to leave gifts there for older people and youngsters in the Ribble Valley.

Peter Catlow, head of Home Instead Senior Care, has joined forces with Shackletons Home and Garden Centre at Chatburn, Home Start UK, Help Direct and Action For Children, to launch the gift-giving scheme.

The idea is an adaptation of “Be a Santa to a Senior” in the United States.

It works like this: The tree at Shackletons is decorated with gift tags made out to Home Start, Help Direct or Action For Children and the types of gifts they would welcome.

Visitors can buy an appropriate gift from Shackletons and leave it with them for wrapping and collection by the Home Instead team for distribution among the gift recipients.

Shackletons donate 10 per cent of the sales value from each gift to Home Start UK.

Alternatively, people can bring in a gift of their choice which will be wrapped in-store.

Mr Catlow said: “We are hoping that ‘Be a Santa’ will allow us to reach out to both old and young members of our community who perhaps would not receive gifts this Christmas and would really appreciate knowing that local people are thinking about them.”

Volunteers from Bowland High School are helping to wrap gifts, which will be handed over on “Be A Santa” day at Shackletons this Saturday, December 15th, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bowland pupils will perform in two carol services at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., children can have their photograph taken in Santa’s sleigh, and Santa’s reindeer will make a guest appearance.

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