North East Connected

Hospice ‘banking’ on the ‘su-paw- t’ of local shopping centres

North East shopping centres intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre welcomed some very special four legged guests this week, as part of a fundraising initiative for a local charity – but these pooches won’t need to be taken for walkies!

The two intu shopping centres in Newcastle and Gateshead have chosen St Oswald’s Hospice as their Charity of the Year. One of their first initiatives to support the local charity is to provide a temporary home to two ‘Puggy Banks’, inspired by St Oswald’s recent Great North Snowdogs trail.

Puggy Banks are smaller Snowdog sculptures that have been converted into a donation box with a difference. intu will offer a home to one at intu Eldon Square and another at intu Metrocentre until the end of the year and their customers will be encouraged to feed their spare change to the pups, with all funds supporting the work of the Hospice.

The Puggy Banks are in the shape of a dog, but painted pink with a snout in a nod to the popular children’s money box. Their locations in the centres will change, as they move about their new homes in a bid to greet as many shoppers as possible over the next few months. All proceeds raised from Puggy Bank donations will support the work of St Oswald’s, which offers specialist care to local adults, young people and children with life limiting conditions.

St Oswald’s Hospice Corporate Fundraiser Siobhan Sargeant said: “It’s wonderful to have been chosen as intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre’s Charity of the Year! Our Puggy Banks are delighted with their new homes and are excited to meet the shoppers, who we hope will be very generous in ‘feeding’ them.

“We loved working with intu during the Snowdog project, so it’s great to be able to carry on the partnership through exciting initiatives such as Puggy Banks. We look forward to a year of fundraising fun and want to thank intu for choosing to work with us.”

 Clare Cannon, Community Manager, intu North added: “St Oswald’s Hospice is one of the most recognised and hardworking charities in the north east and we are humbled to be able to offer our support as one of our nominated charities for 2017. I’m sure the Puggy Banks will bring lots of joy to our shoppers as they have already proven a huge success with the teams at the centre. We hope our shoppers give generously over the coming months to support such a fantastic charity.

As well as the Puggy Banks, intu are getting involved in several other ways to support St Oswald’s throughout 2017, with April being earmarked as a month of lots of activity. intu are sponsoring St Oswald’s 2017 Great North Run vests, which will bear their logo at the world renowned event this September. St Oswald’s have places available for anyone wanting to run for the charity and missed out on a place through the now-closed ballot. Contact or call 0191 246 9123 for more information

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