THOUSANDS of local folk turned up to visit St Luke’s Hospice annual Christmas Market at the weekend – a smile-packed event that produced bargains, festive spirit and more than £7,000 towards the Hospice running costs.
Staged at South Essex College’s Basildon complex the market was crammed with stalls offering a wide range of Christmas goods and there were refreshments and attractions including a Santa’s Grotto and live music.
Many of the stalls were manned by the army of volunteers who support the hospice, which provides care for people in the Basildon, Billericay and Thurrock districts who have specialist palliative needs. The hospice also provides a wide range of support services for families, children and those in need of day care.
That, according to market organiser and fundraiser Kerry Chambers, is why the hospice is so special to the region’s residents. “We offer something really tangible that helps people cope when they are in need, we offer support and care to those who need it, whatever their age or issues.
“That care package is recognised by so many people as really important so they are more than willing to turn up as volunteers for events like the Christmas Market, or simply come along to spend their money in what they know is a wonderful cause.
“I would simply like to say thanks to everyone involved, either volunteers or visitors, and they already know that their efforts are put to a very good cause. Also a special thanks to South Essex College for hosting the event in their main complex this year.
“We are already looking forward to next year’s market and, of course, a huge range of events across many spectrums that link St Luke’s to the local community all through the year.”