SHOPPERS in Sunderland can wish a charity well, thanks to a great new interactive giving initiative.
The city’s the Bridges shopping centre has joined forces with heart charity Red Sky Foundation to develop a unique, musical version of a traditional wishing well.
And with help from other local businesses, their dream – of a well which lights up and plays music whenever a donation is made – is now a reality.
The multi-sensory wishing well was thought by Centre Director, Karen Eve after a conversation with the charity’s founder Sergio Petrucci, who, with wife, Emma, founded Red Sky Foundation to support the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital following their daughter’s life saving heart surgery.
The couple has raised more than £600,000 to date towards new equipment and facilities for hospitals across the region, along with purchasing defibrillators for key North East sites.
Sergio enlisted the help of Washington-based Laser Cutouts which turned the concept into the reality, with further support from technical experts AR Controls and Sunderland-based digital print platform, WTTB, which provided the graphics and M & N Decorators.
And now visitors to the Bridges can interact with the well which arrived at the centre this week – with the hope shoppers will give generously to help the charity fund more defibrillators across the region and deliver education sessions to children and adults, teaching skills in CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
Sergio hopes the new wishing well will be the first of many and said he is “so
excited to see our wishing well idea come to reality.
“It really goes to show how the smallest idea can grow into something special and I’m really grateful to the people who’ve been a part of realising our vision.
“I’d like to thank them all for helping and particularly Karen Eve as we very much value our partnership with the Bridges,” he said.
“The money we’re raising is making a massive impact on heart health across the city.
“This project just goes to show what can be achieved when people work together,” said Karen.
“Sunderland is a hot bed of creative and entrepreneurial expertise and we were so fortunate that businesses gave not only their skills but also their time and enthusiasm to this project.
“They proved the city has heart – and that, after all, is what this is all about.”
For more information about the Red Sky Foundation, visit www.redskyfoundation.com