Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 09.24.23Shoppers seeking retail therapy got a two-day charity event off to a busy start.

Hundreds of spenders arrived for the first day of the annual Durham Shopping Extravaganza, held at Ramside Hall Hotel.

Performing the official opening, long-time supporter Sue Snowdon said: “I was selling charity Christmas cards here 20 years ago and have supported it ever since. It is such an important event.” 

From pork pies to pom-pom hats, organic children’s clothes to candles and Christmas decorations, the 71 stalls provided a variety of gifts and treats to buy.

Ten per cent of purchases, plus raffle, tombola and entry admission over the two days, will go towards the final fund to be shared principally between Butterwick Hospice, in Bishop Auckland, St Margaret’s Centre, in Durham, and Home-Start, Seaham.

Co-chair of the Extravaganza committee Nicky Swan: “This year’s DSE has got off to a great start, Stallholders have reported brisk business so we’re hoping for the same on our second day. 

“We’ve had fantastic support from sponsors, stallholders, volunteers, shoppers and staff at Ramside Hall Hotel, where we hope to be for many years to come.

“Our aim is to raise as much as possible over the two days for our beneficiaries, who all do a wonderful job supporting the sick and vulnerable in our local area.”

Previous Durham Shopping Extravaganzas have raised more than £378,000, supporting more than 70 local charities since 1989.

Today’s second day [Thursday 15th] runs from 10am-4pm. Admission is £4 and parking is free.