Teesside Park has installed a giant giving box to help give back to a local baby hospice which has been impacted by the pandemic.

Located inside the customer services suite, visitors can use contactless payment to easily donate £3, £5 or £10 to Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. The giving box will light up in response to any donation it receives and a special message from Santa will play.

Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice provides free palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants aged from birth to five years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in Teesside.

Like many charities, the hospice has suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and services have had to be cut.

Catherine Furlong, centre director at Teesside Park, said: “This festive season, it seems only right to focus on supporting the people, charities and organisations who go above and beyond to help our community. Teesside Park has been a long-term supporter of the hospice, and we wanted to do what we can to help the amazing team at Zoë’s Place.

“The Giving Box has been designed to allow shoppers to safely donate an amount of their choice. We hope our customers will enjoy reversing the role of Santa and giving back to this fantastic organisation that helps families across the north east and beyond.”

Sara Benson, Corporate and Major Donor Fundraiser, said: “The support British Land and Teesside Park have shown Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice with their Giant Giving Box this Christmas means so much to everyone that comes through the doors to Zoë’s Place.

“The reduced service we are currently able to offer at the three hospices has presented a very difficult situation, not only for the charity, but for the families that rely heavily on the vital services the charity provides.

“In a period of uncertainty and financial difficulty, having such an eye-catchingly festive fixture in a prominent location, which directly benefits Zoë’s Place, is a positive close to an otherwise tough year.

“We are truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to tell the wider community about Zoë’s Place and the work the charity does, and are so thankful to those who are able to donate.”

The centre has also launched a competition to reward someone who has gone out of their way to support the local community this year with £250 to spend on themselves at Teesside Park as a small ‘thank you’ for all their hard work.

To nominate someone special you’ll need to fill out a simple entry form on Teesside Park’s website to explain why you think they deserve to win: https://www.teessideshopping.co.uk/christmas/community-heroes

Throughout December, core opening hours will be from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am – 5pm on Sunday. Some individual retailers will be extending hours with details found on their websites.

Free parking is available as usual and shoppers are being encouraged to visit outside of peak times if they can, with quieter times usually before 11am and after 3pm each day.

For more information about planning a trip to Teesside Park, please visit: https://www.teessideshopping.co.uk/christmas/planning-your-visit